Ian Austin MP, who resigned from Labour in protest at antisemitism within the Party earlier this year, delivered a passionate indictment of the Labour leadership in a speech in Parliament yesterday, branding Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s leadership “extremists”.
Standing amongst Labour MPs on the opposition benches, Mr Austin said: “I left the Labour party to shine a spotlight on the disgrace it’s become under his [Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s] leadership…I regard myself as proper, decent traditional Labour, not like the extremists who have taken over this Party and are dragging it into the mud…These are people [Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell] who spent their entire time in politics working with [and] defending all sorts of extremists, and in some cases terrorists and antisemites…They always back the wrong side, whether it’s the IRA, Hamas and Hizballah, whom they describe as ‘friends’.”
As Labour MPs heckled him and told him to stop sitting with them, Mr Austin continued: “No previous Labour leadership would have allowed a Party with a proud history of fighting racial prejudice to have been poisoned by racism, which is what’s happened under these people — racism against Jewish people, to the extent that members have been arrested on suspicion of racial hatred, that the Party itself has become the first in history to be investigated under equalities laws by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. These people, and the people around them, are a million miles away from the traditional, mainstream, decent politics of the Labour Party. They have poisoned what was once a great party with extremism. They cannot be trusted with the institutions that underpin our democracy. They are completely unfit to lead the Labour Party, let alone our country.”
Mr Austin was joined by another former Labour MP, Ivan Lewis, who also resigned the Labour Party whip over antisemitism. Mr Lewis added his condemnation of Mr Corbyn, saying: “He does not have the leadership skills required at a time of so many challenges facing our country, and his leadership has led to the party of anti-racism and equality becoming the party of institutionalised antisemitism, so much so that a majority of Jews in this country feel that they would not be safe in the event of his becoming Prime Minister.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism commends Mr Austin, who is an honorary patron of Campaign Against Antisemitism, and Mr Lewis, for their righteous condemnation of the Labour leadership, which now presides over an institutionally antisemitic party. The Labour Party cannot be a force for good whilst it is in the hands of Mr Corbyn and those around him.
On 28th May, the EHRC 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.”