The leader of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, has told the BBC that claims of antisemitism in the Labour Party are “mood music” to “undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership” and that people who allege it have been “playing games”. He also said that Jewish Voice for Labour, a fringe organisation which hijacks the voice of Jewish Labour members is “great” and “radical” even after its spokeswoman, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, spent the morning failing to control her laughter when asked on LBC about antisemitism in the Party.
Earlier today we released research showing that antisemitism amongst Labour officials is eight times higher than in any other party, which follows the revelation by a senior MP that as many as 5,000 cases are awaiting decisions by its compliance unit.
The day has been peppered with highly concerning news from the conference floor, including Jewish delegates saying that they feel extremely uncomfortable and unwelcome.
Today has also seen Brighton’s Labour Council leader write to inform the Party that it may be evicted from holding the Conference in Brighton Centre in future over antisemitism, demanding: “I will need reassurances that there will be no repeat of the behaviour and actions we have seen this week before any further bookings from the Party are taken.” The CEO of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission has also intervened saying that Labour antisemitism is now so bad that the Party must “establish that it is not a racist party”.
They were responding to a Labour Party Conference fringe event last night that was advertised in official literature, at which speakers demanded the right to deny the Holocaust to loud cheering, and called for the Jewish grouping within the Labour Party to be expelled, prompting spontaneous calls of “throw them out”.
The Labour Party Conference has just passed new rules to make it easier to expel antisemites from the Party, but they will be meaningless unless the Party calls out antisemites using the International Definition of Antisemitism, as well as people like Mr McCluskey, who is a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, who not only claim that there is no antisemitism problem, but also claim that Jews who complain about it are pursuing a secret political agenda, such as defending Israel or attacking Jeremy Corbyn.
Tonight, Mr McCluskey has subjected Jewish victims of antisemitism to a secondary attack by claiming that they are part of political game-playing to undermine the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
He should apologise immediately or resign.
Len McCluskey tells us he doesn’t recognise Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism, saying it was “mood music” created to undermine Corbyn pic.twitter.com/frZv5ZnrZ3
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) September 26, 2017