A Labour MP has denied altering the lyrics of the Beatles song Hey Jude to “Hey Jews” while a fellow politician is accused of repeatedly using the word “poof” during a coach journey last year.
Daniel Carden, who as the shadow international development secretary, is accused by BuzzFeed of singing an adapted version of the song while on a trip from the Cheltenham festival to London.
Conor McGinn, a former Labour whip who is standing for re-election as MP for St Helens North, is reported by the website to have repeatedly called another colleague a “poof” during the same journey on 15 March 2018.
Carden, candidate for Liverpool Walton, denied the allegations, tweeting: “This was a coach full of journalists and MPs. If anyone genuinely believed any antisemitic behaviour had taken place, they would’ve had a moral responsibility to report it immediately.
“Yet this allegation is only made now when a general election is imminent. I stand by my record as an antiracist campaigner. I would never be part of any behaviour that undermines my commitment to fighting racism in all its forms.”
Blunkett urged moderates to “stay and fight” to ensure the “voice of reason” prevailed following deputy leader Tom Watson’s decision to stand down.
A spokesman for Carden told BuzzFeed he would never “intentionally” engage in racist or antisemitic behaviour.
The spokesman added: “Daniel Carden has been a committed campaigner in support of LGBT rights and against all forms of racism and hatred, his entire political life. As a homosexual man he would never intentionally engage in homophobic, racist or antisemitic behaviour. Had there been genuine concerns as to Daniel’s behaviour then those concerns should have been raised at the time rather than some 20 months later on the eve of a general election.”
A spokesperson for McGinn said: “Conor’s record as a staunch supporter of the LGBT community speaks for itself. As an MP he led the campaign which delivered a monumental and historic change in the law to finally extend equal marriage to the whole of the UK.”
Mark Tami MP, who is standing for re-election in Alyn and Deeside, said: “I was on the bus and didn’t hear any singing of this nature.”
Another person from within Labour told Sky News to say he was on the coach with Carden and did not hear those words being uttered.
The Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, described the allegations as “disgusting”.
She tweeted: “At a time when the Jewish community feels under threat due to rising antisemitism, politicians have a duty to stand with them, not mock them.”
When asked about the allegations during his visit to Leeds, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “Dan Carden has emphatically denied that. It is an awful story and if it’s true it is utterly and totally unacceptable. I am looking into it.”
Corbyn also responded to Blunkett’s remarks, adding: “I’m sorry that David Blunkett has chosen this time to say that.
“I lead a party that is huge – it’s half a million members. I lead a party that’s very determined to tackle inequality, poverty and injustice in this country.”
The Labour leader was asked about a letter from female Labour MPs urging the national executive committee (NEC) to block Kate Osborne from becoming the party’s candidate in Jarrow after she allegedly posted an image of Theresa May with a gun.
Corbyn said: “She is going through a process. A panel will be conducted over the weekend to select a candidate for the Jarrow constituency and, no doubt, all those questions will be put to her as any question will be put to any of the candidates.”
Labour has faced fresh antisemitism claims this week after Gideon Bull, a parliamentary candidate, withdrew from standing in the general election following accusations he used the insulting term “Shylock” at a meeting where a Jewish councillor was present. He denied any intention to insult but has apologised for making the remark.
Bull, a councillor from the London borough of Haringey, was intending to be Labour’s candidate in the Essex seaside town of Clacton.
Labour blocked the leftwing campaigner Chris Williamson from standing as a candidate in the general election after he was suspended over accusations he had downplayed antisemitism in the party.
Williamson, the former MP for Derby North, was one of three Labour candidates told they would not stand following a day-long meeting of the party’s ruling body.
Zarah Sultana, a Labour general election candidate for Coventry South, apologised earlier this week for saying she would “celebrate” the deaths of world leaders including Tony Blair and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
She said she had been “exasperated by endless cycles of global suffering, violence and needless killing”. In 2015, Sultana also wrote of her support for “violent resistance” by Palestinians, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
She told the BBC the tweets were from a “deleted account dating back several years from when I was a student”.
“I do not support violence and I should not have articulated my anger in the manner I did, for which I apologise,” she added.