Anti-Semitism furore turns even more toxic

Fury as Cor­byn aide dis­misses row as only a ‘smear’ Lord Win­ston says leader ‘has a lot to an­swer for’ PM warns of risk to Jews in Bri­tain

Daily Mail - - News - By Ja­son Groves and Claire El­li­cott

Labour’s anti- semitism row deep­ened last night as a key Cor­byn ally tried to dis­miss it as a smear at­tempt.

se­nior party fig­ure Chris­tine shawcroft said the cri­sis had sim­ply been ‘stirred up’ by crit­ics.

It came as Labour peer Lord Win­ston said Mr Cor­byn had ‘encouraged and en­dorsed’ anti-semites in the party, adding: ‘He has a lot to an­swer for’.

and the party’s for­mer chief fundraiser Lord Levy re­vealed he had re­ceived hate mail call­ing him a ‘Jewish pig blood­sucker’ af­ter he crit­i­cised the Labour leader this week. Miss shawcroft, a mem­ber of Labour’s rul­ing Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC), said it ‘ab­so­lutely beg­gars be­lief’ to sug­gest Mr Cor­byn is giv­ing suc­cour to anti-semites poi­son­ing his party.

she sug­gested the con­cerns raised by Jewish groups, Labour mod­er­ates and others were con­cocted to dam­age Mr Cor­byn. ‘This whole row is be­ing stirred up to at­tack Jeremy, as we all know,’ she said. ‘That some­one who has spent his whole life fight­ing racism in all its forms should find him­self be­ing ac­cused of not do­ing enough to counter it, ab­so­lutely beg­gars be­lief.’ The row came as:

Mr Cor­byn used a video mes­sage to the Jewish com­mu­nity to ac­knowl­edge Labour needed to ‘do bet­ter’ to deal with the ha­tred of some hard-Left ac­tivists to­wards Jews.

39 Labour MPs and peers wrote a let­ter de­mand­ing he axe Mrs shawcroft from the NEC.

Theresa May said it was time for all pub­lic fig­ures to ‘stand up and make our voices heard in the face of anti-semitism’.

Miss shawcroft’s com­ments un­der­mined ef­forts by Mr Cor­byn to mend fences with the Jewish com­mu­nity. she was sacked as chair­man of Labour’s dis­ci­plinary panel on Wed­nes­day af­ter the Mail re­vealed she had op­posed the sus­pen­sion of an ap­par­ent Holo­caust de­nier who was stand­ing as a Labour coun­cil can­di­date.

In a mes­sage on Face­book, which was later deleted, Miss shawcroft in­sisted she was ‘not a Holo­caust de­nier’ and would not know­ingly sup­port one.

The anti-semitism cri­sis cul­mi­nated this week in an un­prece­dented demon­stra­tion in West­min­ster by Jewish com­mu­nity lead­ers. In a video mes­sage to mark Passover, Mr Cor­byn said his party would ‘never be com­pla­cent about anti-semitism,’ adding: ‘We all need to do bet­ter.’ He went on: ‘It is easy to de­nounce anti-semitism when you see it in other coun­tries, in other po­lit­i­cal move­ments. It is some­times harder to see it when it is closer to home.’

How­ever, Mr Cor­byn was last night re­sist­ing calls from dozens of Labour MPs and peers to re­move Miss shawcroft from the dis­ci­plinary panel al­to­gether and sus­pend her from the NEC. she is a long- time ally on

‘This beg­gars be­lief’

Labour’s hard-Left and a direc­tor of the Mo­men­tum group.

Karen Pol­lock, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Holo­caust Ed­u­ca­tional Trust, de­scribed Miss shawcroft’s com­ments as ‘dis­gust­ing’. she posted on Twit­ter: ‘I’ll tell you what beg­gars be­lief: That in­stead of ask­ing se­ri­ous ques­tions as to why a mem­ber of your party thinks it’s oK to post sick­en­ing ma­te­rial deny­ing the Holo­caust, you sug­gest the huge con­cern re­gard­ing anti-semitism is “stirred up” and enough is be­ing done to com­bat it. Dis­gust­ing.’

Vet­eran Labour MP siob­han McDon­agh said it was time for Mr Cor­byn to stop pay­ing lip ser­vice to the is­sue and take ac­tion against his friend and ally. she said: ‘I would say we have got enough let­ters to pa­per Nel­son’s Col­umn say­ing that Jeremy will take ac­tion. The time for words is over.’

Fel­low Labour MP Wes street­ing said: ‘Even when caught red­handed de­fend­ing a Holo­caust de­nier, Chris­tine shawcroft still dis­misses gen­uine con­cerns about anti-semitism. Enough is enough. Chris­tine shawcroft must re­sign from the NEC im­me­di­ately. she has no shame.’ asked if she would be sus­pended, a Labour Party spokesman would only say that her Face­book com­ments had ‘now been deleted.’ In her statement yes­ter­day, Miss shawcroft said she was ‘deeply sorry’ for the way she han­dled a com­plaint against Labour ac­tivist alan bull, who posted a Face­book link to a fake news ar­ti­cle ti­tled: ‘In­ter­na­tional red Cross re­port con­firms the Holo­caust of six mil­lion Jews is a hoax.’

although she told Mr bull he needed anti-semitism train­ing, she added: ‘alan cer­tainly wasn’t shar­ing it be­cause he agreed.’

Lord Win­ston, a lead­ing sci­en­tist and TV pre­sen­ter, told the bbC’s This Week show he was ‘deeply ashamed’ of the party.

He added: ‘Whether he likes it or not, Jeremy Cor­byn has a lot to an­swer for. He has encouraged anti- semites and he’s en­dorsed them.

‘In the mod­ern world us­ing so­cial me­dia, their con­spir­acy the­o­ries about Jews and state­ments about hate, spread like a dis­ease and this virus is in­fect­ing the Labour Party.’

In her own Passover mes­sage, the Prime Min­is­ter made no di­rect ref­er­ence to the Labour cri­sis. but she said Jews had faced ‘ ha­tred, dis­crim­i­na­tion and vi­o­lence’ for cen­turies. and in a pointed ref­er­ence, she added: ‘It is a sit­u­a­tion that con­tin­ues to this day, in­clud­ing, I am sad to say, here in bri­tain.’

De­fend­ing her be­lea­guered leader: Chris­tine Shawcroft

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