Cor­bynites in plot to un­seat pro-Jewish MPs

● Po­lice given ev­i­dence of in­tim­i­da­tion as one vows: I will stand up to this poison

The Jewish Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BY LEE HARPIN PO­LIT­I­CAL EDI­TOR

A CO-OR­DI­NATED and tar­geted hard-left plot to threaten and desta­bilise Jewish MPs and their sup­port­ers in the Labour Party is to­day ex­posed by the JC.

Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Is­rael, this week called in the po­lice af­ter she be­came the sub­ject of a “men­ac­ing” in­tim­i­da­tion cam­paign from ac­tivists in the wake of a no con­fi­dence vote in her En­field North con­stituency last week.

Ms Ryan — who is also fu­ri­ous that Iran’s state pro­pa­ganda broad­caster, Press TV, in­fil­trated last Thurs­day’s con­stituency party meet­ing — told the JC on Wed­nes­day that “noth­ing” would stop her stand­ing up to the “poison” of “threats, bul­ly­ing and snip­ing by the hard-left”.

Po­lice were forced to in­ter­vene in Labour’s de­s­e­lec­tion row af­ter Ms Ryan and Gavin Shuker, an­other MP fac­ing a no con­fi­dence vote af­ter crit­i­cis­ing Jeremy Cor­byn’s han­dling of the an­tisemitism row, had “sin­is­ter” cards de­liv­ered to their par­lia­men­tary of­fices wish­ing them “good luck with the new ca­reer”.

Of­fi­cers from the Par­lia­men­tary Li­ai­son Unit are in­ves­ti­gat­ing how an in­truder was able to en­ter the of­fice of Ms Ryan and place the card, which con­tained pri­vate de­tails of her up­com­ing hol­i­day to Cyprus, on her desk.

But the JC has learned that along­side the open in­tim­i­da­tion of Ms Ryan moves are al­ready un­der­way to un­set­tle

Jewish MPs such Dame Louise Ell­man and Lu­ciana Berger in their Liver­pool Con­stituency Labour Par­ties.

Non-Jewish par­lia­men­tar­i­ans such as Can­ter­bury MP Rosie Duffield, Hamp­stead & Kil­burn MP Tulip Sid­diq and Liver­pool Sefton Cen­tral MP Bill Ester­ton are now be­ing tar­geted for hav­ing ex­pressed con­cern over an­tisemitism or been sup­port­ive of groups such as the Jewish Labour Move­ment.

Dame Louise, who has been the Liver­pool River­side MP since 1997 and was re-elected with a 35,000 ma­jor­ity at last year’s gen­eral elec­tion, has long been at­tacked by hard-left cam­paign­ers for her mem­ber­ship of both the JLM and LFI and her re­peated ef­forts to stand up for the state of Is­rael.

At a meet­ing of Liver­pool Mo­men­tum group on July 31, the chair of River­side CLP, Tim Hay­den, called for a chal­lenge to be mounted against his own MP, Dame Louise.

He said: “It’s time for a change. MPs shouldn’t have a job for life — be­cause there are MPs in this city cam­paign­ing to un­der­mine Jeremy Cor­byn.

“These MPs think they can ig­nore the mem­ber­ship. In River­side we’ve seen that hap­pen time and time again.”

Last Fri­day night, at an emer­gency meet­ing of the River­side CLP, ac­tivists again dis­cussed re­plac­ing Dame Louise as their MP — and sev­eral spoke in favour of sub­mit­ting a mo­tion for in­clu­sion at the Labour Party con­fer­ence later this month, back­ing manda­tory re-selec­tion of MPs.

A source told the JC: “There is a group of per­haps a dozen peo­ple des­per­ately

out to get Louise. Never mind fight­ing the Tories — get­ting Dame Louise out has be­come their num­ber one pri­or­ity, es­pe­cially af­ter what has gone on with Joan Ryan.”

In nearby Liver­pool Wavertree CLP, where JLM par­lia­men­tary chair Ms Berger has been MP since 2010 and was re-elected with a 29,000 ma­jor­ity in 2017, left-wing ac­tivists at­tempted to force through a mo­tion call­ing for the use of only the brief 38 word def­i­ni­tion of an­tisemitism from the In­ter­na­tional Holocaust Re­mem­brance Al­liance (IHRA), and which called for “free speech” to crit­i­cise Is­rael as a “racist en­deav­our”.

The meet­ing of Wavertree CLP took place on Tues­day evening — while the Jewish MP and other Jewish mem­bers of the lo­cal party were un­able to at­tend be­cause of Rosh Hashanah.

But the hard-left fac­tion were forced to ditch the mo­tion af­ter it be­came clear it was not in tune with that passed by Labour’s own rul­ing na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) last week.

Ms Berger has re­peat­edly been at­tacked by lo­cal ac­tivists over her Jewish back­ground — but she re­mains pop­u­lar amongst vot­ers due to her en­er­getic work on lo­cal health is­sues and ini­tia­tives as well as her cam­paigns to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses.

On Mon­day there was also an at­tempt by hard-left ac­tivists to force a no-con­fi­dence vote against Rosie Duffield, the Can­ter­bury Labour MP, over her sup­port for the Enough Is Enough demon­stra­tion in West­min­ster in March against an­tisemitism in Labour, and her ap­pear­ance as a speaker at the Jewish Labour Move­ment’s con­fer­ence ear­lier this month.

The au­thors of the mo­tion — which was even­tu­ally with­drawn af­ter an out­cry by mod­er­ate mem­bers of her lo­cal party — said that Ms Duffield, who is Can­ter­bury’s first Labour MP, has in­volved her­self with “groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions that are cam­paign­ing to dam­age our Party”.

On Wed­nes­day night, Hamp­stead and Kil­burn CLP was set to de­bate an­other hard-left backed mo­tion call­ing for all Labour mem­bers to be “free to call Is­rael a racist en­deav­our”.

The mo­tion de­scribes the IHRA def­i­ni­tion of an­tisemitism as an at­tempt to “un­der­mine racism by pri­ori­tis­ing one form of dis­crim­i­na­tion above oth­ers”.

Lo­cal MP Tulip Sid­diq has re­peat­edly come un­der pres­sure from left­wing ac­tivists to change her stance on Is­rael and her close con­nec­tion to the Jewish com­mu­nity.

The JC has also learned that at a meet­ing of the

Liver­pool Crosby branch of Sefton

Cen­tral CLP, an at­tempt was made to af­fil­i­ate the lo­cal party to the proCor­byn Jewish Voice for Labour group that has re­peat­edly at­tempted to down­play al­le­ga­tions of an­tisemitism within the Party.

This was again on the night of Rosh Hashanah, when no Jewish ac­tivists or mem­bers would be able to ar­gue against the move.

The move to af­fil­i­ate to JVL was pro­posed by far-left ac­tivist Mark Holt, from the Mersey­side Stop The War group.

A source who at­tended the meet­ing told the JC: “The mo­tion could eas­ily have gone through with­out much scru­tiny.

“I don’t think there was much prior knowl­edge of what JVL stood for as a group, and of course their aims were pre­sented as be­ing very honourable.”

It was sug­gested by one per­son at the meet­ing that they should hold the vote on af­fil­i­a­tion to JVL in De­cem­ber, at which Jo Bird, a JVL ac­tivist from Wirral could speak.

The JC has pre­vi­ously re­vealed how Ms Bird sparked anger af­ter com­plain­ing about the “priv­i­leg­ing of racism against Jews” com­pared to dis­crim­i­na­tion “against black peo­ple, Mus­lim peo­ple and mi­grants”.

It has also emerged that Robert Carter, who joined Labour dur­ing the 2015 lead­er­ship hus­tings, is now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Labour’s Com­pli­ance Unit af­ter footage of the En­field North con­stituency party meet­ing was broad­cast by Press TV.

All work­ing jour­nal­ists and film crews were banned from the event, in which Ms Ryan, par­lia­men­tary chair of the Labour Friends of Is­rael, nar­rowly lost the vote by 97 votes to 95.

On Wed­nes­day, Ms Ryan told the JC: “I am proud to have joined with the Jewish com­mu­nity over the past three years to chal­lenge the rise of an­tisemitism within the Labour Party and the per­ni­cious ef­fort to de­monise and dele­git­imise the state of Is­rael.”

The mo­tion could eas­ily have gone through’

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Dame Louise Ell­man

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