Anti-Semitism at con­fer­ence BBC star in­tim­i­dated

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ja­son Groves, Daniel Martin and Kather­ine Rush­ton

LABOUR was branded the ‘new nasty party’ last night af­ter an out­break of in­tim­i­da­tion and anti-Semitism at its an­nual con­fer­ence. Jeremy Cor­byn was urged to act af­ter ac­tivists ap­plauded pan­el­lists at a fringe meet­ing who likened sup­port­ers of Is­rael to Nazis.

One speaker even sug­gested Labour should be free to de­bate whether the Holo­caust had hap­pened.

Mr Cor­byn was also fac­ing a row about in­tim­i­da­tion of Laura Kuenss­berg. The BBC’s po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor has been given a bodyguard fol­low­ing threats from Leftwingers at the con­fer­ence.

A Labour shadow min­is­ter yes­ter­day claimed us­ing an ex-sol­dier for pro­tec­tion was a ‘ploy’ to de­monise hard­lin­ers.

Chris Wil­liamson, who is a close ally of Mr Cor­byn, re­fused to say whether party mem­bers who abused Miss Kuenss­berg

be ex­pelled. And he ques­tioned whether any­one in Labour was in­volved, say­ing: ‘Peo­ple join the Labour Party be­cause they are car­ing in­di­vid­u­als. They are not the sort of peo­ple that in­dulge in in­tim­i­da­tion and vi­o­lence.’

But An­drew Percy, a for­mer Tory min­is­ter who has also been the tar­get of anti-Semitic abuse, last night de­scribed Labour as the ‘new nasty party’. He said Labour ap­peared to be in the grip of a ‘fright­en­ing’ cult.

‘What we are see­ing is re­ally dan­ger­ous,’ he added. ‘The idea that the po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor of the BBC would need a bodyguard to at­tend the con­fer­ence of the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion should ap­pal all de­cent peo­ple in pol­i­tics. The kind of anti-Semitic abuse we are see­ing is also some­thing that has not been part of our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem un­til the past cou­ple of years.

‘There is a cult of per­son­al­ity around Jeremy Cor­byn that will not al­low any ques­tion­ing of him or his views.

‘It is deeply sin­is­ter, nasty and quite fright­en­ing. These peo­ple are gen­uinely ex­treme.’

Sh­eryll Mur­ray, a Tory MP who had swastikas daubed on her gen­eral elec­tion posters, said: ‘From what we’ve seen to­day at the Labour con­fer­ence, it feels like things are get­ting worse rather than bet­ter.

‘I worry it’s putting good peo­ple off from work­ing in pol­i­tics. It’s hardly the kinder, gen­tler pol­i­tics that Jeremy Cor­byn promised.’

Yes­ter­day’s events hor­ri­fied mod­er­ate Labour MPs. For­mer deputy leader Har­riet Har­man urged Mr Cor­byn to con­demn the abuse of Miss Kuenss­berg.

In a mes­sage on Twit­ter she said: ‘Is this from the Left? If it is, it’s even worse as the Left is sup­posed to be for equal­ity and women’s rights and on­line trolls is about si­lenc­ing women.’

Fel­low Labour MP Jess Phillips said: ‘Let’s clean up our act please. Women’s safety is the rea­son we cham­pion the Uber ac­tion for ex­am­ple. Let’s walk the walk.’

Se­nior Labour MPs last night urged Mr Cor­byn to take ac­tion against ris­ing an­ti­Semitism in the party.

John Cryer, who is chair­man of the Par­lia­men­tary Labour Party, said some so­cial me­dia post­ings from sup­port­ers were ‘redo­lent of the 1930s’ and ‘made your hair stand on end’. Labour de­nies build­ing a per­sonal-

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