UK Labour Awash with Anti-Jewish "Hatred and Acrimony" — BBC Report

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2019

Labour, which has been braced for the Panorama accusations, wrote to BBC director-general Lord Hall to complain ahead of the broadcast.

Lord Triesman, a former Labour general secretary and foreign office minister, said the party and its leadership are "institutionally anti-Semitic". On Monday broadcaster Channel 4 published a survey of 892 Conservative Party members by pollsters YouGov which showed that 56% believed Islam was a general threat to Britain's way of life. A fuller extract of the email read: "If we're more than very occasionally using disciplinary action against Jewish members for anti-Semitism, something's going wrong, and we're muddling up political disputes with racism". Sam Matthews, head of disputes at the time, said he interpreted the email as "the leader's office requesting to be involved directly in the disciplinary process" and "not a helpful suggestion; it is an instruction".

"It must have taken great courage for them to whistleblow and for them to have to call out our core practices I think is deeply sad - and actually deplorable that we would just dismiss them as in some way sort of disaffected", he said.

Labour member Izzy Lenga, who joined the party in 2015, specifically referred to her being subjected to anti-Semitic abuse during party meetings.

The Labour Party, in turn, rejected anti-Semitism interference allegations which it said had been made by "disaffected former officials" who "include those who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, worked to actively undermine it, and have both personal and political axes to grind".

In response to the claims about Mr Milne, a Labour Party spokesman said: "This allegation is false and malicious, and our response has been misrepresented by Panorama, throwing into doubt the extent and seriousness of their engagement with the Labour party's responses".

The BBC accused Labour of "criticising a programme they have not seen".

The spokesman said: "The Panorama programme and the BBC have engaged in deliberate and malicious representations created to mislead the public".

Lord Turnberg said he feared for Labour's future due to the "overt" anti-Semitism that "permeates the party machine". We stand in solidarity with Jewish people, and we're taking decisive action to root out antisemitism from our movement and society.

The significance of the email from Seumas Milne is that it showed one of the most powerful figures in the Labour Party expressing concern about the handling of anti-semitism complaints and suggesting the wider process should be reviewed.

The Panorama investigation revealed only 15 people have been expelled from the party for Jew hate in nearly four years.

A group of eight former Labour officials have come forward to accuse party chief Jeremy Corbyn and his closest aides of systemically interfering in efforts to address anti-Semitism within the British party. It was a seriously inaccurate, politically one-sided polemic, which breached basic journalistic standards, invented quotes and edited emails to change their meaning.

Jewish MPs - particularly women - have been subjected to the most horrendous abuse and awful, violent threats, even being told they don't have human blood.

"It was an overtly biased intervention by the BBC in party political controversy". The Panorama team instead pre-determined an answer to the question posed by the programme's title.

It started with politicians dividing people with "us vs.them".

Colleague Jess Phillips said on Twitter that the claims made in the program were "worse than I expected".

In May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) launched a formal investigation to look into whether Labour has "unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish".

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