Labour’s anti-semitism remains a problem

UK Labour has a big problem with anti-semitism, and it hasn’t been helped by the failure of the party to adequately censure Ken Livingstone.

The Telegraph reports:

One hundred Labour MPs attacked their party’s failure to kick out Ken Livingstone yesterday as he gave a series of defiant interviews defending his Adolf 
Hitler comments.

Tom Watson, the deputy leader, and Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, were among a string of senior figures who said they were “ashamed” that Mr Livingstone had not been expelled.  

In a damaging day of party splits, scores of Labour MPs attacked their own disciplinary panel in the strongest terms as they gave Mr Livingstone a two-year suspension rather than a lifetime ban.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, issued a statement attacking his old ally’s “grossly insensitive” comments and backed second disciplinary hearing into related comments.

However Mr Corbyn faced criticism as on the same day he said Mr Livingstone should “contribute to our party’s work in trying to win elections” in the coming years.

There were also renewed calls for Mr Corbyn to step down as a former Labour official compared Mr Livingstone’s punishment to a “slap on the wrist”.

Corbyn can hardly go hard on Livingstone, he’s said and done similar things.

The damaging day for Labour came after a shock decision on Tuesday not to ban Mr Livingstone from the party over his Hitler comments.

The disciplinary hearing had been called last year after a controversial interview that saw Mr Livingston claim Hitler once supported Zionism, the movement for the creation of a Jewish state.

Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, made up of regular party members, found him guilty of bringing the party into disrepute but only handed out a two-year ban, half of which has already been served.

The decision provoked a heated backlash yesterday, with 100 MPs put their name to a statement condemning the failure to expel Mr Livingstone.

It read: “This week the institutions of the Labour Party have betrayed our values. We stand united in making it clear that we will not allow our party to be a home for antisemitism and Holocaust revisionism.

“We stand with the Jewish community and British society against this insidious racism. This was not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked.”

Obviously zero tolerance to anti-semitism isn’t a bottom line for Labour. If it was they’d need a new leader.

 

-The Telegraph


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