The British Labour Party is facing fresh accusations of covering up anti-Semitism after the party revealed it had received 673 allegations of anti-Jewish hate by its members during the past 10 months, leading to only 12 individuals being expelled, The BBC reported on Monday.
The party’s General Secretary, Jennie Formby, a close ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, revealed the figures after she was pushed by MPs to detail how the organization was processing accusations of anti-Semitic acts.
Of the 673 complaints between April 2018 and January 2019, some 211 resulted in a suspension. However, only 12 cases saw members immediately expelled.
Labour MPs said last week that they believe the General Secretary is using her influence to shield members accused of anti-Semitic behavior from being investigated by the party. At a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) on February 5, MPs unanimously passed a motion urging the National Executive Committee (NEC), headed by Formby, to do more to tackle anti-Semitism.
Veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodges reacted to the news, saying on Twitter: “I alone put in over 200 examples – some vile – where evidence suggested they came from Labour. So don’t trust figures. Can’t believe only 12 expulsions. Not convinced leadership serious on rooting out anti-Semitism.” In July 2018, the MP called Corbyn “an anti-Semite and a racist” to his face.
Labour came under fire from within its own ranks over the weekend, when former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waded into the debate and blasted the party’s leadership for saying that it was impossible to fully “eradicate” anti-Semitism from the organization.
“How can we say it’s tolerable to have a certain level of anti-Semitism?” Blair asked. “Can you imagine when I was leader of the Labour Party, having a conversation with me about whether anti-Semitism is in the Labour Party or not? We wouldn’t even have that conversation.”
He continued: “We’re supposed to be a progressive political party,” he noted. “Yes, there are parts of the left, not the whole of the left, that have a problem with anti-Semitism, and you see this in their attitudes to the State of Israel.”
Blair explained that people may criticize Israel how they like. However, “their continual focusing on Israel all the time, over a long period… you’re left with the feeling that they’re in a sense targeting it because it is a Jewish state.”
[Photo: Labour Party / YouTube ]