Labour Party Reeling From Anti-Semetic Revelations Exposed On BBC’s Panorama

Labour Party Reeling From Anti-Semetic Revelations Exposed On BBC’s Panorama

 By Ben Kerrigan-

The Labour party is reeling from the embarrassment of anti-semetic allegations exposed in yesterday’s BBC panaroma.   Former party officials complained of anti-semetism being rife in the party, to the extent of causing members to leave.

Former party officials alleged having to deal with a huge increase in anti-Semitism complaints since Mr Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015.  Eight former officials who worked in the team and dealt with anti-Semitism cases told the BBC that the  leader’s office was “angry and obstructive” .They also alleged that the party’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, “overruled” some of their disciplinary decisions and “downgraded” punishments to a “slap on the wrist”.

Seumas Milne, one of Mr Corbyn’s closest aides reportedly laughed when advised by a long-serving party official about what Mr Corbyn should do to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. Deep complaints about not just anti semetism, but also a negligent attitude in the party into dealing with the racial complaints has rocked the Labour party and is ruining their image. The party has expressed anger and alarm over claims some of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies tried to interfere in disciplinary processes involving allegations of anti-Semitism.

The party said it would be pursuing complaints “at all levels” of the corporation in the wake of the broadcast on Wednesday night. Former members of Labour’s disputes team which investigates complaints against members, claimed their mental health was affected by the attitude of aides in Mr Corbyn’s office.

QUIT

Three Labour peers  were said to have quit party whip in protest at the handling of anti-semitism complaints . Complaints were so bad that three members of the party quit in protest.Sam Matthews, the former head of the team, said he had even contemplated suicide because of the stress he suffered in the job. Jewish party members also went into details of how they had been subjected to anti-semitic abuse at Labour meetings.

Labour accused Panorama of bias and of deliberately misrepresenting evidence in an attempt to smear the party. A spokesperson said: “The Panorama programme was not a fair or balanced investigation. It was a seriously inaccurate, politically one-sided polemic, which breached basic journalistic standards, invented quotes and edited emails to change their meaning. It was an overtly biased intervention by the BBC in party political controversy.

“An honest investigation into antisemitism in Labour and wider society is in the public interest. The Panorama team instead pre-determined an answer to the question posed by the programme’s title.”

The panaroma programme also revealed how Labour general secretary Jennie Formby ‘deleted emails about anti-semitism’. Complaints were so bad that three Labour peers quit party whip in protest at handling of anti-semitism complaints. Sam Matthews, the former head of the team, said he had even contemplated suicide because of the stress he suffered in the job.

Jewish party members also detailed how they had been subjected to anti-semitic abuse at Labour meetings Labour accused Panorama of bias and of deliberately misrepresenting evidence in an attempt to smear the party.

UNFAIR

Labour representatives have expressed great dissatisfaction with the way the programme was put together by the BBC, protesting unfairness.

A spokesperson said: “The Panorama programme was not a fair or balanced investigation. It was a seriously inaccurate, politically one-sided polemic, which breached basic journalistic standards, invented quotes and edited emails to change their meaning. It was an overtly biased intervention by the BBC in party political controversy.

“An honest investigation into antisemitism in Labour and wider society is in the public interest. The Panorama team instead pre-determined an answer to the question posed by the programme’s title.”They added: “We complained in advance to the BBC over the way the programme was put together and its choice of a presenter who has expressed overt personal and political hostility to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. We will be pursuing complaints at every level.

“The Labour party will fully investigate any complaints concerning the antisemitic incidents reported by party members in interviews in the programme.

“Labour stands in solidarity with Jewish people and is fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations.

“Despite claims made in the programme, Labour is taking decisive action against anti-semitism. Since Jennie Formby became general secretary the rate at which anti-semitism cases have been dealt with has increased more than four-fold.

“We will build on the improvements to our procedures made under Jennie Formby, and continue to act against this repugnant form of racism.”

Image:BBC

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