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