A controversial councillor infamous for using the term “Jew process” and a leading union boss have reportedly received warnings of auto-expulsion from the Labour Party.
Jo Bird, a councillor for the Bromborough Ward on Wirral Council, reportedly faces expulsion due to her alleged association with antisemitism-denial group Labour Against the Witchhunt, a faction that Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved to proscribe several weeks ago. Last month its members began receiving letters of automatic expulsion.
Cllr Bird re-joined the Labour Party in 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn was running for the Party’s leadership, and has a long history of controversy relating to Jews, including renaming ‘due process’ in the Labour Party as “Jew process”, for which she was suspended. She was suspended a second time but was readmitted on both occasions. She was apparently investigated for a third time after reportedly suggesting that antisemitism is being privileged over other forms of racism.
Cllr Bird is also a member of Jewish Voice for Labour, the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, and she has described Labour’s institutional antisemitism as based on mere “accusations, witch-huntery and allegations without evidence”. She failed in her bid for election to the NEC, and had been tipped to succeed Dame Louise Ellman, a Jewish MP who quit Labour prior to the election due to antisemitism, as the MP for the constituency.
Cllr Bird apparently intends to appeal the possibility of expulsion.
Recently, it was reported that Labour Against the Witchhunt suggested to its members that they may lie about their political affiliation to avoid being kicked out of the Labour Party, although there is no evidence to indicate that Cllr Bird will avail herself of this advice. Indeed, she has reportedly expressed her pride at speaking at a Labour Against the Witchhunt event.
Also reportedly facing expulsion for alleged association with a proscribed group is Ian Hodson, the elected president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU). The union has 17,000 members and is apparently threatening to break away from the Party in protest at the threat to its boss.
It has not been reported which of the banned factions – Labour Against the Witchhunt, the disgraced former Labour MP Chris Williamson’s Resist group, Socialist Appeal and Labour In Exile Network – he is alleged to be associated with. However, it has been reported that in 2017 Mr Hodson promoted an article that claimed that Labour’s Jewish affiliate had been “implicated” in the “efforts of the Israeli embassy to damage a Corbyn-led Labour Party with confected allegations of antisemitism.”
It has also been reported that a criminal defence solicitor and Campaigns Officer at Liverpool Riverside Constituency Labour Party has been suspended from the Labour Party for 24 months following an investigation into allegations involving antisemitism.
The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.
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.