Top Cor­byn ally: We must for­give MP in anti-Semitism row

Daily Mail - - News - By An­drew Levy

THE Labour anti-Semitism cri­sis deep­ened yes­ter­day when a shadow cab­i­net mem­ber was ac­cused of ‘ir­re­spon­si­bly’ down­play­ing new MP Lisa Forbes’ en­dorse­ment of on­line posts against Jews.

Barry Gardiner com­pared the furore around Peter­bor­ough MP Miss Forbes to the drug con­tro­versy en­gulf­ing Michael Gove.

Miss Forbes was found to have ‘liked’ a Face­book video in April that claimed Theresa May had a ‘Zion­ist slave mas­ter’s agenda’.

She was also ac­cused of prais­ing other of­fen­sive posts, in­clud­ing one claim­ing Is­lamic ex­trem­ists were the in­ven­tion of the CIA and Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence ser­vice Mos­sad.

She wrote on­line: ‘I have en­joyed read­ing this thread so much.’

Miss Forbes has now apol­o­gised ‘whole­heart­edly’ and claimed she had not read the posts be­fore com­ment­ing.

How­ever, Shadow Trade Sec­re­tary Mr Gardiner told the BBC’s An­drew Marr Show: ‘If [Michael Gove] can be for­given for that, then I think Lisa Forbes can be for­given for lik­ing a tweet that she didn’t bother to read.’

Labour MP Wes Street­ing told the Daily Mail: ‘This was a clumsy and ir­re­spon­si­ble in­ter­ven­tion. Lisa Forbes has apol­o­gised but now needs to demon­strate gen­uine re­morse and con­tri­tion.

‘This only serves to un­der­line why so many Jewish peo­ple have lost all con­fi­dence in the Labour Party’s abil­ity to take con­cerns se­ri­ously.’

The Jewish Labour Move­ment called for Miss Forbes’ sus­pen­sion and warned she was the ‘per­fect ex­am­ple’ of some­one who had been em­braced by the party de­spite pro­mot­ing ‘racist ma­te­rial’.

The mother-of-four scraped a vic­tory in last week’s by-elec­tion, hold­ing off Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party by just 683 votes.

The anti-Semitism row came as al­le­ga­tions of union bul­ly­ing to se­cure her place as the Labour can­di­date in Peter­bor­ough resur­faced.

In 2013, de­feated can­di­date Karen Webb, a di­rec­tor of the Royal Col­lege of Nurs­ing, com­plained she was bul­lied by Unite. She said mem­bers who wanted to vote for her said they were not sent bal­lot pa­pers. When she com­plained to party of­fi­cials, she claimed they re­fused to get in­volved.

Miss Forbes re­fused to com­ment at her home yes­ter­day. But a Labour Party spokesman said: ‘The se­lec­tion was fair and trans­par­ent.’

One of Don­ald Trump’s top of­fi­cials has re­vealed his con­cerns about Jeremy Cor­byn and anti-Semitism.

In a leaked record­ing, US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo was asked by Jewish groups what he would do ‘if life be­comes very dif­fi­cult for Jews in the UK’.

Mr Pom­peo replied: ‘We won’t wait for him to do those things to be­gin to push back. It’s too risky and too im­por­tant.’

‘Pro­mot­ing racist ma­te­rial’

New MP: Lisa Forbes

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