The disgraced peer, Baroness Tonge, is stepping down from the House of Lords today.
Her welcome departure follows an announcement earlier this month, in which she said: “I have always promised myself and my family that I would retire when I am 80 years old which is in mid- February. I informed the authorities some months ago. Indeed I think many of us should retire from the Chamber at my age—there are far too many people in the Lords. However, I shall continue to campaign for justice for the people of Palestine.”
The announcement came just days after yet another of her controversial interventions in the upper chamber, when she spoke at a recent debate on antisemitism on university campuses and blamed the rise in antisemitism on actions of the Israeli Government, again. Earlier in the debate, Baroness Tonge was skewered by Lord Polak as someone who has had “a career of repeating old, medieval tropes.”
Baroness Tonge was suspended from the Liberal Democrats before eventually resigning, has a long history of Jew-baiting, denouncing Campaign Against Antisemitism, suggesting that the antisemitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue might be Israel’s fault, blaming Israel for a rise in antisemitism, and sharing a cartoon comparing Israel’s policies to those of the Nazis, which is a breach of the International Definition.
In December 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism joined 88 members of the House of Lords in condemning remarks on Facebook by Baroness Tonge following the general election, in which she commented: “The Chief Rabbi must be dancing in the street. The pro-Israel lobby won our General Election by lying about Jeremy Corbyn.”
In 2020, Lord Pickles called for reform in the House of Lords after Baroness Tonge called Israel America’s “puppet master” and received no sanction.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Good riddance. Baroness Tonge, the disgraced peer with a history of promoting antisemitic tropes, is stepping down from the House of Lords today. The Jewish community welcomes the departure of this hateful figure who should never have been elevated to the upper chamber of our nation. It is a stain on the Liberal Democrats that she was never expelled (she resigned) and on the House of Lords that she was never removed.”