Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl has reacted to tonight’s Panorama investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party.
“This Panorama investigation gives added weight to what we have suspected all along. It suggests that the issue of antisemitism has been treated with disdain by the Labour leader and as a joke by Seumas Milne, and that Jennie Formby and her appointments have repeatedly obstructed justice in disciplinary cases.
As anti-Jewish racism remains a poison running through the party, it appears to have been watched over by a leader whose henchmen had not the slightest intention of acting to get rid of the problem so long as they could get rid of the negative headlines. This is a terrible indictment of a party unable and unwilling to confront racism in its own ranks. Rather than attempting to enforce immoral non-disclosure agreements and making pathetic attempts to blame everyone but themselves, the party should be acting to excise this terrible stain.
Fundamentally, their weak excuses are belied by the observable results, where clear offenders are let off with little to no punishment, as has been evident in the recent cases of Chris Williamson and Pete Willsman, people regarded as Corbynite allies, while the Party’s capacity for quick justice is evidenced by the rapid expulsion meted out to perceived political opponents, like Alistair Campbell. It was harrowing to watch on national television Labour staffers saying that they were driven to extreme levels of mental anguish.
Given tonight’s reports, and the continued observable failings in disciplinary processes, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Jeremy Corbyn, Seumas Milne and Jennie Formby are personally responsible for having turned a once great, anti-racist party into a cesspit of antisemitism.