Labour MP hits out at ‘disgraceful’ anti-Semitism motion

Labour’s general secretary has been urged to investigate Diane Abbott’s local constituency party after it called for an immediate start to processes which could see MPs who speak out on anti-Semitism face deselection.

The motion passed by Hackney North and Stoke Newington Constituency Labour Party hit out at claims of “institutional anti-Semitism” spread by “the media” and the “right wing of the Parliamentary Labour Party”.

It called on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) to immediately implement trigger ballot procedures in all constituencies in order to allow members to decide on the future of their MPs.

“It is unacceptable to allow our representatives to slander the party and its members whilst we put them into office,” the motion said.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy said the motion was “disgraceful” and called on Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby to “investigate for the sake of all”.

The motion also claimed it was “double standards” to allow former prime minister Tony Blair to remain in the party despite being responsible for the “death and destruction of the Iraq War” and openly attacking the Labour leadership.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “We completely reject claims of institutional anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism complaints received since April 2018 relate to about 0.1% of our membership, but one anti-Semite in our party is one too many.

“We are determined to tackle anti-Semitism and root it out of our party once and for all.”

On Wednesday, MP Chris Williamson was suspended following claims that the party has been “too apologetic” about anti-Semitism.

The Derby North MP vowed to clear his name, saying he had a “very strong case”.

He won support from activists in Sheffield Hallam, where the constituency Labour party passed a motion saying the allegation Mr Williamson was downplaying anti-Semitism was “totally unfounded” and pledged to write to Ms Formby calling for his reinstatement.

Oliver Coppard, who was Labour’s candidate in Sheffield Hallam in 2015, said he was “genuinely saddened” by the motion, adding: “I know that the 40 members who voted to ignore the genuine concerns of the Jewish community and good people from across our movement do not speak for the majority of the members of our party in Sheffield Hallam or the community itself.”

Labour sources pointed out that CLPs have no involvement in individual disciplinary cases and cannot influence them.

“Rather than looking inwards and fuelling divisions, we should be focusing on campaigning, developing our hugely popular manifesto and working together to fight the Tories,” a source said.