On 1st May I wrote to ask you to publicly stand up for Croydon’s Jewish community by condemning Jeremy Corbyn for writing a foreword to a book that the Board of Deputies of British Jews branded ‘pure and unequivocal racism’.
You have yet to reply.
Since then there have been a number of concerning additional incidents in your party:
- Following the shocking Panorama revelations, on 10th July Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said: ‘whatever we've done we've still got a problem.’
- On 11th July, the Deputy Leader of your party, Tom Watson said that the Panorama programme ‘painted a picture of a party in which antisemitism is tolerated and allowed to grow’. He also described Labour’s aggressive response to the whistle-blowers in Panorama as ‘deplorable’. He wrote to Jennie Formby, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, demanding she hands over the submission that has gone to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He said: ‘only sunlight can disinfect Labour of antisemitism now’.
- On the same day, Sam Matthews, Labour’s former head of disputes, accused Jeremy Corbyn of having done more than ‘any modern day political figure since the Second World War to bring about the rise of antisemitism’.
- On 12th July Trevor Phillips, former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that ‘Labour today presents like a textbook case of institutional racism’.
- On 14th July respected senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge said that Labour ‘now aligns to a culture of racism’.
- On 15th July, Labour staff put forward a motion to the GMB union condemning the party's handling of Panorama and its response to whistle-blowers. It states there is a ‘mental health crisis among Labour Party staff caused by the culture, rise in antisemitism and unsustainable workloads’ and says that the whistle-blowers spoke out ‘at enormous personal risk and should be commended and supported, never attacked - particularly not by the Labour Party’.
- On the same day over 200 current and former Labour staff wrote to Jeremy Corbyn about antisemitism. The letter says that the party’s response to the Panorama programme has been to ‘smear Jewish victims, and former staff, accusing them of acting in bad faith…the way the party has threatened and denigrated these whistle-blowers is appalling, hypocritical and a total betrayal of Labour’s core values’. The letter goes on to personally criticise Corbyn, saying all this has happened on his watch.
- Yesterday more than 60 Labour peers put their names to an advert in The Guardian accusing Jeremy Corbyn of failing to tackle antisemitism. The signatories, who make up about a third of Labour members in the Lords, said the leader was presiding over a "toxic culture" of antisemitism.
Other senior leaders in your party are, however, less critical.
On 12th July Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott endorsed calls for Tom Watson to resign. She re-tweeted a call from Claudia Webbe for Watson to ‘Consider his position’.
In response to Tom Watson’s letter to Jennie Formby calling for more action to tackle antisemitism in the Labour Party, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said on 14th July that she wasn’t interested in the ‘soap-opera’.
On 11th July newly revealed footage emerged of Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a Labour party meeting last October, after the summer 2018 antisemitism crisis, with him saying criticism in the press “doesn't bother me, nothing keeps me awake at night anyway. I frankly don't care.”
As a Labour Shadow Minister, you are actively working to deliver a Jeremy Corbyn government. But you have been publicly silent on the anti-Jewish racism infecting your party.
I, and many of my fellow Croydon Central residents would like to know: whose side are you on?
Do you agree with Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry? Do you feel there is nothing to be bothered about?
Or do you agree with Tom Watson, the 200 members of Labour staff, 60 Labour Peers, dozens of Labour MPs and thousands of moderate, committed Labour members leaving your party due to its inaction on tackling anti-Jewish racism?
You have previously said: “The rise of hate crime and antisemitism across the UK is alarming… as MPs we have to act.”
When will you act?
I hope to hear from you soon.
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central
|Dear Sarah - when will you speak out about Labour antisemitism?||677.64 KB|