Two of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest aides reportedly directly intervened to lift the suspension of activist, Glyn Secker, who was accused of antisemitism, according to leaked e-mails seen by The Sunday Times, while a separate revelation in The Telegraph revealed that a Labour official defended Jackie Walker, the disgraced Labour activist who famously claimed that Jews were the “chief financiers of the slave trade” and who has twice been suspended from the Party over allegations of antisemitism.
According to The Sunday Times, Mr Secker was being investigated for joining the antisemitism-infested Palestine Live Facebook group, whose members had posted conspiracy theories about supposed Israeli involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks, but Mr Corbyn’s Director of Strategy and Communications, Seamus Milne, told Party officials to reinstate Mr Secker. Another top aide, Andrew Murray, who is also the Unite union’s Chief of Staff, said that Mr Corbyn himself was “interested in this one”.
Mr Corbyn has repeatedly insisted that he has not interfered in disciplinary cases.
The newspaper claims that Mr Milne defended Mr Secker and demanded that the suspension be lifted, stating: “None of the posts can be identified as antisemitic in the terms of the definition we have adopted as a Party…Several quite clearly relate to political arguments within the Jewish community.”
Mr Milne infamously once told a rally that the genocidal terrorist organisation, Hamas, “is not broken, and will not be broken because of the spirit of resistance of the Palestinian people.”
The Sunday Times was also passed a tape of John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, admitting that he is supporting Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitta who was suspended as a Labour candidate over comments about “Zionist sympathies” of a Jewish MP. Ms Gordon-Nesbitt was dropped as a candidate for South Thanet last year and now plans to sue the Party. McDonnell, however, said that: “I’ve expressed my support for Rebecca.”
Furthermore, The Telegraph revealed that a Labour official defended Jackie Walker, the disgraced Labour activist, who famously claimed that Jews were the “chief financiers of the slave trade” and who has twice been suspended from the Labour Party over allegations of antisemitism.
The official reportedly insisted that comments that she made which had been condemned for playing down the importance of the Holocaust could simply be “legitimately held beliefs”. A series of e-mails between Labour Party officials suggests that they did not regard complaints of antisemitism levelled against Ms Walker to be serious.
Ms Walker has been under investigation for nearly three years without a disciplinary hearing. A hearing is rumoured to be taking place soon however.
The revelations would appear to expose as false the strenuous claims by Jeremy Corbyn and his lieutenants that they have not interfered in the Party’s disciplinary processes.
The Party’s handling of antisemitism is now the subject of an intervention by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which has begun pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.
In the past six months, eleven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism.