The Islington Labour Party has some serious questions to answer
November 6 update: see the current response from Islington Labour
Following the suspension of Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party, it is time for Labour leaders in Islington to answer some basic questions:
- Do they agree with the Equality and Human Rights Commission(EHRC) report’s findings into anti-Semitism in Labour?
- Do they agree with Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s message to those who think allegations of anti-Semitism are exaggerated or a factional attack: “Frankly, you are part of the problem too. And should be nowhere near the Labour Party”.
- Do they support the decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn?
If the answer to any of the questions is not a resounding YES, will they please explain to the people of Islington what they do believe in? And how they can still remain members of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party?
Yesterday’s report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission identified “serious failings” and “unlawful acts” by the Labour Party in tackling anti-Semitism. Despite that, Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn yet again claimed that the issue was exaggerated. He has since been suspended from the party which he led less than a year ago.
24 hours on from the publication of the report there is still no official comment on these serious developments from any of the senior figures in the Islington Labour Party. No statement from Council leader Richard Watts. No words of concern from Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury. Not even a tweet or a Facebook post from Islington North Party Chair Alison McGarry. The Islington Labour Party website appears to pretend that it is business as usual.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Only last month, former Islington Mayor and Labour councillor Rakhia Ismail resigned from the Labour party in protest against racism in Islington Labour. And Councillor Claudia Webbe continues to be listed as a Labour Councillor in Islington on the Council web-site and amazingly still claims two salaries, despite having had the Labour whip withdrawn from her in Parliament where she serves as an MP for Leicester.
It's not a recent incident either. Last year, Islington councillor Gary Poole resigned from the Labour Party over what he called "the scourge of anti-Semitism".
Labour have put Islington in the news yet again. And sadly, once more, for all the wrong reasons.
What is your answer, Islington Labour?