Former Shadow Ministers reprimanded by Starmer

TPUK Staff | News

Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis continues to boil. One may have presumed, after the removal of Jeremy Corbyn from office, that the problem was over, but one would be wrong.

Sir Keir Starmer was forced to give two former Shadow Ministers a “telling off” for their appearance on a Zoom call which openly belittled Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis and included personalities who have previously been removed from the Party for anti-Semitism, as well as other who have faced complaints in the past.

Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy, both Corbyn loyalists and former Shadow Ministers, dialled in on a Zoom conference set up by the hard-Left group ‘Don’t Leave – Organise’, whose creators include John McDonnell’s Labour Representation Committee and the radical fringe group Jewish Voice for Labour.

To set a backdrop for what sort of meeting this was, personnel on this call included one activist whose reputation for anti-Semitism is well known. In fact, she was kicked out of the Labour Party in 2019 for things she has said. Former Momentum Deputy Leader Jackie Walker claimed that the Jews had “financed the slave trade”, a claim so obviously anti-Semitic that the Labour Party actually dealt with it! The list of other offensive things she has previously said is extensive.

Another attendee was a woman called Jo Bird, whose “Jew process” line earnt her a removal from the Party, before being reinstated. On the call, she stated that “the party was not dealing adequately with cases of anti-black racism because it was prioritising anti-Semitism cases”. Obviously, she must be oblivious to the situation the party finds itself in.

According to The Jewish Chronicle, both MPs reacted to the leaked internal Labour report. The MPs used their speeches to attack the anti-Corbyn wing of the Party, putting the blame for the 2019 election failure squarely on them!

Comments from the Zoom conference about Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis included these:

Labour activist Nushi claimed in front of all the attendees that ‘Ken Livingstone was expelled from the party for saying in truth a historical statement.’ Okay…

Salma Yaqoob, who stood to be Labour’s West Midlands Mayoral candidate and has faced anti- Semitism claims in the past, said the EHRC had become ‘weaponised and politicised’. She said she was a ‘victim of Right-wing smears’ with regard to her own anti-Semitism, adding that ‘racism was weaponised by the Right’.

Miss Bird, as mentioned above, claimed that anti-Semitism cases were ‘over-prioritised’, while cases involving black members were ‘de-prioritised’.

None of the comments were corrected or opposed to by either Ms Abbott or Ms Ribeiro-Addy, who both remained on the call throughout.

A spokesman for the Labour Party said that MPs who took part in the call on Wednesday night had been ‘reminded of their responsibilities’.

She said: ‘The previous comments made by some of the individuals on this call are completely unacceptable. These are not people who support the values of the Labour Party. This is being made clear to the Labour MPs who attended the call in the strongest possible terms and they are being reminded of their responsibilities and obligations.’

Sir Keir told the BBC that: ‘The MPs concerned have been spoken to in the strongest terms. Those people who have been expelled do not share the views of the Labour Party.’

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, said: ‘It is completely unacceptable that Labour MPs should be sharing platforms with those that have been expelled from the party for anti-Semitism.

‘Indeed, this breaches the Board of Deputies’ ten pledges that Keir and the other Labour leadership contenders signed up to. We would urge Labour to take swift and decisive action to show that this is a new era, rather than a false dawn.’

It does seem that the Labour Party is refusing to deal with the anti-Semitism crisis in any real way, with Starmer only able to offer a reprimand, while apparently even former Shadow Ministers don’t seem to be taking the whole thing too seriously…

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