Is Labour anti-semitic?

They aren't happy about a recent Panorama special

Politics Home

Labour goes to war with BBC over Panorama probe into anti-semitism in party

The party said it would be pursuing complaints "at all levels" of the corporation in the wake of the broadcast on Wednesday night.

In the hour-long programme titled 'Is Labour Anti-Semitic?', former members of Labour's disputes team, which investigates complaints against members, claimed their mental health was affected by the attitude of aides in Mr Corbyn's office.

Sam Matthews, the former head of the team, said he had even contemplated suicide because of the stress he suffered in the job.

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Does the Labour party have a problem with anti-semitism?

By Joe Harker

This week the BBC show Panorama aired an hour long investigation into anti-semitism in the Labour party.

The programme featured a number of whistleblowers and former members recounting their experiences of prejudice from the party and the failures to punish offending members.

Labour refuted the accusations of anti-semitism, insisting they and leader Jeremy Corbyn were committed to anti-racism in all forms.

The Claim:

Politics Home reports that the party has "gone to war" with the BBC after the Panorama programme, insisting that they would be pursuing complaints "at all levels".

They released a statement saying the programme was "not a fair or balanced investigation", they accused it of being a one-sided account that failed to meet journalistic standards.

Meanwhile, shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said former party staff members who appeared on Panorama had a "political axe to grind", also insisting that Labour didn't use gagging orders to cover up illegal behaviour, just to stop confidential information getting out.

The party denies it is anti-semitic, insisting that the whistleblowers are accusing Labour of anti-semitism because they oppose Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.

The Counter Claim:

The whistleblowers who contributed to Panorama said Jeremy Corbyn's team repeatedly interfered in disciplining anti-semitism.

They say members of staff close to the Labour leader intervened in deciding the punishments for anti-semitism, with director of communications Seumas Milne telling party staff they were "muddling up political disputes with racism".

Labour has lost peers, members and MPs who have said the way the party has handled cases of anti-semitism is their reason for departing.

It is not for you to decide whether you are anti-semitic or not and ignore anyone else who says otherwise. The fact that multiple people have left the party and recounted their experience of anti-semitism ought to be a warning signal that things are wrong.

The Facts:

Several departing peers, MPs and members have named anti-semitism and the poor handling of said issue from the party to be their reason for leaving. Either they are all part of a conspiracy to smear Jeremy Corbyn by any means necessary or they have genuine grievances.

The issue has caused a split within the party, with deputy leader Tom Watson saying he has "deplored" Labour's response to claims of anti-semitism. Some in the party have dismissed the claims and testimony of the whistleblowers, Watson has said it would be wrong to do so.

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Independent

Jeremy Corbyn's team repeatedly intervened in antisemitism cases, claim Labour whistleblowers

Jeremy Corbyn 's team repeatedly interfered in disciplinary cases relating to antisemitism, according to revelations made by Labour whistleblowers in a new documentary.

The Labour leader was personally copied into emails in which Jennie Formby, the party's general secretary, appeared to promise to interfere in a case involving an activist who had claimed Jews were responsible for the slave trade, according to an edition of BBC Panorama titled " Is Labour antisemitic?".

In another case, Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn's director of communications, told party staff they were "muddling up political disputes with racism" and said Labour needed to "review where and how we're drawing the line".

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