Serious Allegations Made Against Kate Osamor

The Times newspaper has alleged that Kate Osamor, the Shadow Secretary for International Development, has threatened one of their journalists with physical violence. Osamor threw water over the journalist, who was attempting to ask the shadow Minister about her son who has pleaded guilty to serious drugs offences. The Times also alleged that the Shadow Minister said that she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in” to the journalist.

Osamor left the Labour front bench after the allegations were made, with the Shadow Minister refusing to deny the Times article.

Michelle Stanistreet, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said in a statement:

“Journalists, like any other workers, need to be able to go about their work without fear of threats or assault. It’s completely unacceptable to respond to legitimate press queries, however unwelcome they may be, with physical or verbal abuse.

There is a disturbing and febrile international climate at the moment that is facilitating and legitimising the notion that it is open season on journalists – such insidious and dangerous beliefs, particularly when they emanate from public figures in positions of authority, have to be challenged at every turn.”

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, Says that a Second Referendum May be Inevitable

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said in an interview with the BBC that a second vote on Brexit may now be “inevitable”. He said that the Labour Party would prefer a General Election, but said that in the event that the party couldn’t force an election, they would likely be in favour of a second referendum to clear the deadlock.

McDonnell said that he would vote to remain in any second vote, but that he didn’t feel that the outcome would be inevitable. He said to the BBC:

“So, the caution for them and for all of us, whichever argument you put, is the people will decide. As we saw in the last referendum, it’s very difficult to predict which way the people will decide on this. I’ve seen a lot of polls that have said there has been a shift from Leave to Remain. I’ve also seen other polls saying actually we’re just about the same as we were then”.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, criticised the plan saying that a second vote by the British electorate was “an attempt to overthrow the will of the people”.

Calls for Labour NEC Member Peter Willsman to Resign

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.

Ken Livingstone Quits Labour Party

Ken Livingstone, the former Mayor of London, has quit the Labour Party following on-going disciplinary action. Livingstone said that he did not though accept comments he made were anti-semitic, although he apologised for any offence caused.

Livingstone said in a statement:

“After much consideration, I have decided to resign from the Labour Party.

The ongoing issues around my suspension from the Labour Party have become a distraction from the key political issue of our time – which is to replace a Tory government overseeing falling living standards and spiralling poverty, while starving our schools and the NHS of the vital resources they need.

We live in dangerous times and there are many issues I wish to speak up on and contribute my experience from running London… from the need for real action to tackle climate change, to opposing Trump’s war-mongering, to the need to end austerity and invest in our future here in Britain.

I do not accept the allegation that I have brought the Labour Party into disrepute – nor that I am in any way guilty of anti-Semitism. I abhor anti-Semitism, I have fought it all my life and will continue to do so.

I also recognise that the way I made a historical argument has caused offence and upset in the Jewish community. I am truly sorry for that.

Under Labour’s new general secretary I am sure there will be rapid action to expel anyone who genuinely has anti-Semitic views. I am loyal to the Labour Party and to Jeremy Corbyn. However any further disciplinary action against me may drag on for months or even years, distracting attention from Jeremy’s policies.

I am therefore, with great sadness, leaving the Labour Party.

We desperately need an end to Tory rule, and a Corbyn-led government to transform Britain and end austerity. I will continue to work to this end, and I thank all those who share this aim and who have supported me in my own political career”.

Livingstone’s decision comes two weeks after Shami Chakrabarti, the Shadow Attorney General, said that he should be expelled following his comments and behaviour. She said:

“It is very difficult to see that any rational decision-maker in the light of what has happened in the last two years could find a place for Mr Livingstone in our party at this moment”.

Marc Wadsworth Expelled by Labour Party

Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the Labour Party after it was agreed by the National Constitutional Committee that he had brought the party into disrepute. Wadsworth had caused Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, to be reduced to tears after he had accused her of working with the Daily Telegraph.

Smeeth said in a statement:

“Abuse, bullying and intimidation have no place in our movement, as today’s announcement has proven. I hope that this decision represents the first step towards a return to the values of decency and respect throughout the Labour Party”.

Wadsworth rejected the party’s decision, saying:

“We all know that there’s been a concerted effort by disgruntled elements within the parliamentary Labour Party that will simply not accept Jeremy Corbyn as their leader”.

Labour Party Remove Mandy Richards as Candidate for Worcester

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party has decided not to endorse the candidature of Mandy Richards as the Labour candidate for Worcester following a series of allegations which have been made against her. The NEC had met in an urgent meeting yesterday evening and confirmed that the candidate would no longer be sanding for the party.

Richards had made comments which questioned the Manchester bombing, as well as the murdered Labour MP, Jo Cox. It has also transpired that she had been banned from bringing certain cases to court, without having declared that to the Labour Party whilst making her application.

Jeremy Corbyn Embroiled in New Anti-Semitism Row

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised by the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust as being “mocking and disrespectful” after meeting with Jewdas, a left-wing Jewish organisation. A number of Labour MPs have also criticised Corbyn for not going to meetings with Jewish groups who had said they were concerned about the party’s direction.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, said:

“This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism. And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are OK. Irresponsible and dangerous”.

Angela Smith, the Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said:

“Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas seber reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour”.

Jeremy Corbyn is yet to comment on the allegations, but his office said that his visit was made in a personal capacity and not an official one.

Jeremy Corbyn Faces Criticism From Jewish Groups Over Anti-Semitism

A letter written by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council has criticised Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, for failing to tackle the problems of anti-semitism. The letter comes ahead of a protest march which is planned for later today in Parliament Square in London.

In a statement the organisations wrote:

“Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough. We have had enough of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn “opposes anti-Semitism”, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews, and their concerns, are ignored by him and those he leads.

There is a repeated institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism, with the Chakrabarti Report being the most glaring example of this.

Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.

When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views, but claims never to hear or read them.

Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Jews expressed sincere and profound fears as to how such politics would impact upon their wellbeing. Our concerns were never taken seriously. Three years on, the party and British Jews are reaping the consequences.

Routine statements against anti-Semitism “and all forms of racism” get nowhere near dealing with the problem, because what distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of racism is the power that Jews are alleged to hold, and how they are charged with conspiring together against what is good.

This is not only historic, or about what Jeremy Corbyn did before being party leader. It is also utterly contemporary. There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews. We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that Isis terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.

Rightly or wrongly, Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an anti-Semitic political culture, based on obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news that is doing dreadful harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is the only person with the power to demand that it stops. Enough is enough”.

Jonathan Goldstein, the Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:

“This is the first time in my life time that the Jewish community has felt the need to take to the streets to campaign against the leader of a major political party. Rightly or wrongly Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an antisemitic political culture based upon obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news and that is doing great harm not just to the Labour party but to Britain in a wider sense”.

Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter:

“Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn antisemitism, which is why as leader of the Labour Party I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of antisemitism that exists in and around our movement”.

Owen Smith, the former Labour Leadership Candidate, Calls for a Public Vote on the Brexit Deal

Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd and former candidate for the Labour leadership, has called for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Smith said “Labour should ask if Brexit is the right decision, not just push for a softer version”.

Smith wrote:

“Labour needs to do more than just back a soft Brexit or guarantee a soft border in Ireland. Given that it is increasingly obvious that the promises the Brexiters made to the voters – especially, but not only, their pledge of an additional £350m a week for the NHS – are never going to be honoured, we have the right to keep asking if Brexit remains the right choice for the country. And to ask, too, that the country has a vote on whether to accept the terms, and true costs of that choice, once they are clear. That is how Labour can properly serve our democracy and the interests of our people”.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has previously ruled out a second vote, but is yet to comment on Smith’s proposals.

Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, Quits His Post

Iain McNicol, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, has confirmed that he is to stand down from his role. It is expected that a replacement more loyal to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, will replace him. He will remain in his post until a replacement is appointed.

McNicol said in a statement:

“It’s been an absolute honour and a privilege to serve as general secretary of the Labour party. I have now decided to move on to pursue new challenges in the service of the Labour party and wider labour movement”.

Jeremy Corbyn said:

“I would like to personally thank Iain McNicol for his long and dedicated service to the Labour party”.