The Labour Party has expelled a member who claimed that the Jewish TV personality and anti-extremism campaigner, Rachel Riley, “prostituted your religion” and was “poisoning the memory of your ancestors”.
Bob James, a Labour member from Wales, was suspended in March 2019 in connection with tweets about Ms Riley, including that “Judaism is a religion but what Israel does in the name of God is pure Satanic”; “I think Riley is using her influence as a popular celebrity to undermine the Labour party. Her method, though, using her Jewish heritage to promote self-interest, is appalling”; and “Riley has been open about her dislike of Corbyn… You have to hand it to the Tory party for getting her to risk her career for 30 pieces of silver.”
Ms Riley reportedly responded to ask: “Are you an official Labour spokesperson… or just a big cheerleader?”
Following the suspension, Labour’s National Constitutional Committee reportedly found him guilty of the charges and the Party has now expelled him.
Apparently, Mr James had also been subject to an earlier complaint over a social media post in which he claimed that “Israel is using the Holocaust as an excuse for murder,” but the Party reportedly concluded at the time that it was unable to identify Mr James as a member and therefore could not take further action.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission 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.