Labour candidate after candidate embroiled in antisemitism or Jew-baiting scandals in ongoing betrayal of Labour values and British Jews
In Liverpool Walton, Labour frontbencher Dan Carden has been accused of having sung The Beatles’ song “Hey Jude”, substituting the lyrics with “Hey Jews” during a private bus journey last year. Mr Carden has denied the claim, and Jeremy Corbyn has said that he is “looking into it”.
In Coventry South, Labour candidate Zarah Sultana, who has already courted controversy by adopting the language of antisemitic genocidal terrorist groups in advocating for “violent resistance” against Israelis and saying that she would celebrate the deaths of Tony Blair and other past and present world leaders (for which she was forced to apologise and was defended by Labour frontbencher John McDonnell), is now embroiled in another scandal.
It has emerged that in a Facebook comment posted during the 2016 Labour leadership election, Ms Sultana wrote: “the Labour Right are scum and genuinely make me sick. Is there any form of discrimination that they won’t weaponise to politically point score like they’ve done in the past with antisemitism and now with homophobia?”
Ms Sultana has again been forced to apologise, saying that anyone who calls Labour’s antisemitism crisis a “smear” is “wrong and is contributing to the problem. I would not use the word weaponise today and apologise for having done so.”
However, yet further social media posts have been exposed, showing that Ms Sultana accused Jewish students of being on the payroll of Israel’s Prime Minister.
In Harlow, a Labour target seat where Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivered a major speech last week, candidate Laura McAlpine is revealed to have defended her chief campaigner, Brett Hawksbee, when he wrote to colleagues that “the fear of many on the left is that the ideological successors of the bombers of the King David Hotel, the mass murderers who decimated Deir Yassin, would be quite happy to see a pogrom in Gaza and the West Bank, a Jewish final solution to the Palestine problem.”
The comment, which clearly breached the International Definition of Antisemitism for drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, was even criticised by a Labour Party official, but Ms McAlpine stood by Mr Hawksbee, because “she doesn’t want to be disloyal to someone who organises so much for her.” Mr Hawksbee has been a vocal defender of Chris Williamson, the disgraced MP who resigned from the Labour Party after being told he could not stand as a candidate for the Party.
Although Ms McAlpine has since condemned his comment, Mr Hawksbee was still seen in the front row of the Harlow event, along with Mr Corbyn and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer.
In North West Durham, Labour frontbencher Laura Pidcock, who is tipped to become Labour’s new Deputy Leader, said at her campaign launch event: “I know we are on the path towards justice. And I know because Jeremy Corbyn might become PM they will throw everything at us. They will say some really hurtful things. Forgive them. For they know not what they do.”
Ms Pidcock’s final sentence is a line spoken by Jesus before he was crucified, according to the New Testament, and some have observed that it has also been used to stir up religious hatred against Jews in bygone centuries. The suggestion that condemnations of Mr Corbyn for his character or views — including his antisemitism — might be neutralised in this fashion is concerning. Ms Pidcock’s spokesman rejected these criticisms.
In Warrington North, Charlotte Nichols, a GMB national research and policy officer who worked on both of Mr Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaigns in 2015 and 2016 and is a past Young Labour women’s officer, is the Party’s candidate for the safe seat. Ms Nichols, a recent convert to Judaism, attended the controversial Jewdas Seder with Mr Corbyn and is accused of involvement in the “Kaddish for Gaza” event, in which young Jews said a memorial prayer for Hamas terrorists in Parliament Square.
Claudia Webbe, who defended Ken Livingstone after he compared a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard, has reportedly been selected as the Labour Party candidate for the safe Labour seat of Leicester East. In 2018, when Ms Webbe was the Chair of the Labour Party’s Disciplinary Panel, she tweeted a claim that the “combined machinery of state, political and mainstream elite” are conspiring to smear Jeremy Corbyn with “false allegations.” Ms Webbe, who previously defended Ken Livingstone after he compared a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard, took to Twitter to claim that Mr Corbyn is entirely innocent, and that a sinister and powerful conspiracy is working to attack him. As Chair of the Labour Party’s Disciplinary Panel, Ms Webbe must have known that this kind of language is common in antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Meanwhile, former Home Secretary and Labour peer, Lord Blunkett, has said that the “antisemitism” and “thuggery” in the Labour Party make him despair.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In recent months, thirteen MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
Over 57,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”