Jeremy Corbyn’s Chief of Staff sought to force out Labour MPs who protested antisemitism in the Party, according to a report.
In WhatsApp messages, Karie Murphy expressed disappointment in April 2019 in reaction to seven Labour MPs quitting the Party in February, according the JC. She reportedly wrote: “F**king idiots. All the work I did to trigger them and they leave before I had the pleasure.” It appears that the message as reported is referring to so-called “trigger ballots” by local Labour Party branches to deselect incumbent MPs.
Efforts to deselect MPs who opposed antisemitism in Labour was a major issue during Mr Corbyn’s tenure, with three Jewish women MPs — Luciana Berger, who was among the seven who quit; Dame Louise Ellman, who quit later in the year; and Dame Margaret Hodge, who decided to continue to take the whip from Labour — all repeatedly threatened with deselection by pro-Corbyn elements in the Party and in their local constituency parties.
This report lends credence to the claim that at least some of these deselections were being encouraged by Mr Corbyn’s inner circle.
The messages also apparently show that Ms Murphy was involved in removing Keith Birch of the Unison union from the equality portfolio on the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee. Mr Birch had called for the Party to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, which was controversial on the pro-Corbyn far-left of the Party. Ms Murphy reportedly wrote: “We took out Keith so Unison are p***ed. He has been a c**t for years.”
Labour has reportedly confirmed that it has opened an investigation into Ms Murphy’s messages.
A spokesperson for the Labour Party reportedly said: “Labour takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
Mr Corbyn, despite promising not to nominate peers to the House of Lords, nominated Ms Murphy, among others. The appointment has been blocked, however, due to claims of bullying by Ms Murphy. Mr Corbyn has reportedly appealed the decision.
On 28th May 2019, the EHRC launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.