There have been calls today for the resignation of Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Willsman, an ally of the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, questioned whether claims of anti-semitism in the party actually existed. The recording was made privately and Willsman made an apology after being confronted with the audio.
Willsman said in a statement:
“Not all of what I said has been accurately reported. But I accept that what I did say, and the way I said it, fell short of the requirement, which I accept, for discussions of contentious issues to be conducted in a fully civil and respectful way. I deeply apologise for any offence caused to those present and those to whom my remarks were reported”.
Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, condemned Willsman and said on Twitter:
“For the avoidance of doubt: Peter Willsman is and always has been a loud mouthed bully. He disgusts me”.
Jennie Formby, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, has also been questioned as to whether she intervened following Willsman’s comments. The President of the Jewish Board of Deputies said on Twitter:
“Was Jennie Formby there to hear what was said? If yes, why did she let Willsman off so lightly?”
Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, has yet to comment.