The controversial filmmaker and longtime Labour supporter, Ken Loach, has complained to the Morning Star that “Tory supporters are more likely to hold antisemitic views than Labour supporters, but there is no mass demand for investigations into their Party.”
In his interview published on 24th September, Mr Loach conceded that “where there is evidence of antisemitism [in Labour] that has been properly scrutinised, that has been looked at in a proper, open hearing, if someone is found guilty, then appropriate sanctions should be taken,” but insisted that “this campaign [of antisemitism allegations in Labour] has not been about that.”
Mr Loach went on to contrast “individuals like Margaret Hodge…[who] indulge in revolting foul-mouthed abuse of the leader” with “an MP like Chris Williamson, where the evidence was heard and it was considered that [he] should remain in the party….And then it was overturned because of political pressure!…Everybody knows Chris is not an antisemite.”
Mr Williamson was suspended from Labour and then readmitted, only to be resuspended following a public outcry after claiming that Labour has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism.
Mr Loach’s voice has been among the loudest of those who attempt to dismiss Labour’s antisemitism crisis as non-existent and a right-wing smear campaign.
In 2017, Mr Loach caused outrage when, during an interview with the BBC, he refused to denounce Holocaust denial. The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is a manifestation of antisemitism.
Although Mr Loach later sought to clarify his remarks, he has continued to make inflammatory and provocative statements about Labour’s antisemitism scandal. While speaking at a meeting of the Kingswood Constituency Labour Party, Mr Loach advocated the removal from the Party of those Labour MPs, some of whom are Jewish, who have taken a principled stand against antisemitism. Shortly after that incident, the Labour Party announced that it would no longer use Mr Loach as a producer of their election broadcasts.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”