By Ben Kerrigan-
A Labour party member has told a BBC documentary of the daily subjection to anti-semetic abuse she faced for four years.
The shocking one-hour panorama special aired today featured Lenga’s deeply distressing story of racial bullying in her party, senior Labour figures being accused of interfering with the disciplinary process , and ofcourse, those Labour representatives there to provide a balance by defending the party. After a lengthy letter to the BBC by Labour representatives calling for the show to be pulled, Izzy Lenga, a Labour Party member, gave a detailed account of the horrifying and relentless attacks she has had to endure in the party..
She said she “engaged in Holocaust denial” during Labour Party meetings. Ms Lenga told BBC’s Panorama: “I joined the Labour Party in 2015. The anti-Semitic abuse I received was what I was subjected to every single day.
“Telling me Hitler was right, telling me Hitler did not go far enough. In Labour Party meetings we’ve seen people engage in Holocaust denial.
“And that’s terrifying for Jewish members. It absolutely breaks my heart to say, but I do not think the Labour Party is a safe space for Jewish people anymore.”
Referring to Ken Livingstone, Sam Matthews, Chief Investigator of the Disputes Team in 2017-18, told the BBC: “What the NCC did in finding the charges proven but giving a two-year suspension, was essentially saying yes we acknowledge what you said was anti-Semitic, we just don’t care that much.
“You can be back in in two years. That’s an outrage. That’s not zero tolerance, that’s not even close to zero tolerance. “These views have absolutely no place in the Labour Party, whoever says them.
The repeated interference by members of Corbyn‘s team in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism, has cast an even more dark shadow on the party than ever before. According to revelations made by Labour whistle blowers in a new documentary. The Labour leader is said to have personally copied into emails in which Jennie Formby, the party’s general secretary promised to interfere in a case involving an activist who had claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade, according to an edition of BBC Panorama titled “Is Labour antisemitic?
In another case, Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s director of communications, told party staff they were ““muddling up political disputes with racism” and said Labour needed to “review where and how we’re drawing the line.” Labour has strongly denied the claims that Mr Corbyn’s team had intervened in disciplinary cases, saying the claims had been made by “disaffected former officials…who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership”.
The documentary revealed evidence from eight whistle blowers, four of whom broke non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to speak out. Many of the former staffers had direct responsibility for dealing with cases of alleged antisemitism. Dan Hogan, a former investigator said that in a number of cases staff members appointed by Ms Formby had “overruled us and downgraded what should’ve been a suspension to just an investigation or worse to just a reminder of conduct, effectively a slap on the wrist.”
The labour party however defiantly accused the BBC of engaging in deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public. Labour disciplinary investigations are supposed to be independent of the party leadership, but former party officials told Panorama that there had been increasing levels of intervention since Mr Corbyn became leader in 2015. In one instance, staff at the party’s Victoria headquarters were allegedly told to bring antisemitism cases across to Mr Corbyn’s office in parliament to be processed by his advisers.