Politics

Emily Thornberry says Labour could lead the way on stamping out anti-Semitism


Emily Thornberry has said Labour could lead the way on stamping out anti-Semitism.

The leadership contender suggested the party could adopt a new model which would set an example of good practice to the Tories and other parties.

Labour has become only the second political party after the BNP to be investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over its handling of antisemitism with the organisation expected to report soon.

Thornberry said the new man or woman at the top should use the “political capital” they have when they begin in the role to deal with the issue “hard”.

She told the Mirror: “It’s been a horrible thing but, trying to be as optimistic as possible, I think that if we worked with the equality and human rights commission and set up a model for how you deal with disciplinary matters on anti-Semitism, and you could use it more widely as well, that could actually be an example of good practice that the Labour Party could then start being.”

Emily Thornberry called out those who use the pro-Palestinian campaign to mask their anti-Semitism

Thornberry believes the party should have acted faster to stamp out abuse.

She denied that a controversial report drafted by Shami Chakrabarti was a “whitewash” but said the problem was that the party spent “too long faffing and not implementing it”.

Thornberry says she will be guided by the EHRC report but that is likely to be independent or quasi independent.

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She said: “Let’s see what the, the equality and human rights commission say, I suspect that they’re going to want to have something which is, you know, either independent or quasi independent – I will be guided by them, and I will hope that once the leadership competition is over that we will have their report, we can’t wait, we’ve got to go, we’ve got to sort it out.

“So with their guidance I will do what they recommend, and I will work with the Board of Deputies and various other interest groups and make sure that we have something which everyone can have confidence in, so that we can finally move on.”

At the 2018 Labour Party Conference Emily Thornberry let rip at the “sickening individuals” who she said were exploiting support for Palestine as a cover for their “hatred of Jewish people”.

Emily Thornberry says the party needs to find a way to move on

Thornberry also took aim at Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle after the election.

She said anyone implicated by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) inquiry into antisemitism in the party should be “out the door immediately”.

The party has been dogged by accusations that it was not taking allegations of anti-Semitism among its members seriously enough.

Anti-Jewish abuse led to former Liverpool MP Luciana Berger to leave Labour while other Jewish MPs including Ruth Smeeth, Margaret Hodge and Louise Ellman spoke out about suffering attacks from members and those claiming to be Corbyn supporters.  

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Jeremy Corbyn also faced criticism personally for acting too slowly to tackle the issue.  

His critics accused him of having a blindspot when it came to anti-Semitism.

Thornberry is not the only leadership contender to have criticised the party’s record.

They have all signed up to a series of pledges proposed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews but Rebecca Long-Bailey has faced a backlash from some of her supporters for doing so.

Emily Thornberry said she was “optimistic” the party could turn the situation around

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Latest Labour leadership news

Today Long-Bailey is hoping to make it onto the final ballot and she’s expected to get the backing of Britain’s second-largest trade union Unite.

The Shadow Business Secretary would need just one more affiliate to secure her place on the final ballot alongside Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and backbencher Lisa Nandy.

Unite is led by Len McCluskey, a key ally of Mr Corbyn and powerful figure within the party.

The announcement comes after today’s(SAT) planned leadership hustings in Leeds were scrapped.

Labour bosses took the decision after Mr Starmer axed all campaigning for this weekend, following an accident his mother-in-law suffered which has her critically ill in hospital. 





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