Labour MP Wes Streeting and his colleagues face 'torrent of abuse' after attending anti-Semitism rally

Labour MP Wes Streeting and his colleagues face 'torrent of abuse' after attending anti-Semitism rally

Offshore Technology International -
A Labour MP who joined a rally against anti-Semitism in the party has said he and his colleagues have faced a 'torrent of abuse' and been accused of mounting a personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting and other Labour MPs who attended Monday’s march on Parliament have also received deselection threats over their show of support for the Enough is Enough campaign.

Online trolls, who claim to be supporters of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, have bombarded Mr Streeting and his colleagues who attended the rally with messages accusing them using anti-Semitism as a “political football” and to “smear” the Labour leader.

But Mr Streeting has hit back at critics and said they are “not calling for a leadership contest, we’re just calling for leadership” on the issue.

Mr Streeting was among a number of Labour politicians, including Chuka Umunna, Stella Creasy, Liz Kendall, John Woodcock and Luciana Berge, who joined the hundreds-strong march organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council.

Responding directly to claims that he is trying to “destroy” Labour’s chances of winning votes by attending, Mr Streeting tweeted: “Fighting racism won't cost us votes, failure to fight it will. But this isn't about votes, it's about our values.”

The MP also criticised his colleagues who did not speak out, saying those who stay silent are “complicit” in the existence of anti-Semitism in the party.

“The vast majority of Labour members are decent people, but I think there is a small number of anti-Semites. The bystanders however are greater in number,' he told the Standard.

He welcomed Labour leader Mr Corbyn’s promise to “eliminate” anti-Semitism “wherever it exists” in the party, but urged that his words are “quickly turned into action”.

Mr Corbyn should give some members a “political education” on the language they choose to use when criticising the Israeli government, Mr Streeting said.

He added: “I think he can set out how anti-Semitism manifests itself in the party, set out the language that is and isn’t appropriate. It is perfectly possible to criticise the Israeli government without being anti-Semitic.”

In a letter addressed to Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Mr Corbyn on Monday said: “I will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism that exists in or around our party and movement.

“I am committed to eliminating anti-semitism wherever it exists.”

Among those to speak out at Monday’s demonstration was Ms Berger, parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement.

She said: 'I tell you that anti-Semitism is very real and it's alive in the Labour Party. It pains me to have to stand before you and have to say that today.”

She said anti-Semitism within the party had now become more 'conspicuous', 'commonplace' and 'corrosive'.

Mr Streeting said he spent a lot of this morning responding to “countless” threats on Twitter.

One social media critic told him: “You are a disgrace and should consider joining the Tory Party where your neoliberal views would blend in unnoticeably. Why do you continue to be led by the nose by the plotters?”

To this, Mr Streeting replied: “Since when has fighting racism been 'neoliberal'. It's core to our Labour values. The question is why aren't you joining the fight against antisemitism?”

Another critic said: “I'm depressed Labour can't deal with this issue of antisemitism without imploding. It is naive to deny the issue isn't being politically weaponised both sides.

“It is. And as some who have first hand experience of antisemitism posts suggest it's significantly detrimental to it.”

Responding directly, he wrote: “You are obviously so very sad about antisemitism that you ascribe bad motives to people who call it out.

“The whole Labour Party should be speaking with one voice. Perpetrators and bystanders are the problem, not those of us calling it out.”

You can write your opinion

  • 28.3.2018 17:43:22 h collins uk

    Im a secular jew who has always voted labour and im disgusted with the anti semites who belong to the party ill never vote labour again . We fought a war to get rid of facism

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