Europe

Scotland Yard on Labour Anti-Semitism: “There May Have Been a Crime Committed”

Scotland Yard has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitic hate crime in the Labour Party, the Guardian reported Friday. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said it “appears there may have been a crime committed.”

The police said in a statement that special officers had spent two months assessing a leaked Labour Party dossier detailing 45 cases of alleged anti-Semitism and are now working with the Crown Prosecution Service on the investigation. The dossier contains over 80 pages of anti-Semitic statements of Labour Party members, including Holocaust denial.

Among the allegations included in the dossier are messages sent by party members such as “We shall rid the Jews who are cancer on us all…” and “Zionist extremist MP who hates civilised people about to get a good kicking.”

Police sources who have seen the full dossier say 17 instances should have been reported by the party to the police for investigation, and an additional four were potential race hate crimes. A spokesperson for the Labour Party denied the charges and said that they had a “robust system” for investigating alleged hate crimes.

However, Labour’s internal Disputes Panel is currently chaired by Claudia Webb, a former adviser of Ken Livingstone who defended him after he compared a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard. Webb claimed in August that the “combined machinery of state, political and mainstream elite” are conspiring to smear Corbyn with “false allegations” of anti-Semitism.

Amanda Bowman, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, reacted to the police investigation, saying: “This comes as no surprise to us”

She continued: “There is a deeply embedded culture of antisemitism in parts of the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn has done close to nothing to address it, to the extent that some cases may now even meet a criminal threshold.”

Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks recently called Corbyn an “anti-Semite,” who has “given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate.” In an op-ed published in the National Review in August, The Israel Project’s Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz, detailed the Labour leader’s long history with those individuals and groups.

[Photo: CAPTAIN ROGER FENTON / Flickr ]