Labour MPs warn anti-Semitism is becoming ‘normal’ in the party

Labour embroiled in fresh anti-Semitism row as senior backbenchers call for the party’s newest MP to be suspended after she endorsed an anti-Jewish online post

  • Jewish groups said Lisa Forbes winning Peterborough by-election was ‘dark day’
  • In April she liked a Facebook video referring to Theresa May’s ‘Zionist agenda’
  • Labour MP Jess Phillips said she could not celebrate Ms Forbes’s by-election win

Labour has been hit with a new claims of anti-Semitism within the party as senior backbenchers called for their newest MP to be suspended for endorsing an anti-Jewish video.  

Lisa Forbes, who beat the Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election, ‘liked’ a Facebook video in April that referred to Theresa May’s ‘Zionist slave masters agenda’.

Jewish groups said her election was a ‘dark day’ for Labour and called for her to be suspended.

Lisa Forbes, who beat the Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election, ‘liked’ a Facebook video in April that referred to Theresa May’s ‘Zionist slave masters agenda’

Jewish groups said her election was a ‘dark day’ for Labour and called for her to be suspended

Labour MP Jess Phillips said she could not celebrate the result, tweeting: ‘The reality is I cannot be gleeful or proud as I’d want to be because of how it shows that anti-Semitism is becoming normal in the party.’ 

Fellow Labour MP Wes Streeting, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism, added: ‘Labour is normalising anti-Semitism and I won’t be a bystander to it. I’ve given up any hope that the Labour leadership is serious about tackling anti-Semitism. They’re welcome to prove me wrong.’

Labour MPs Dame Louise Ellman and Dame Margaret Hodge have formally complained to the party about their new Parliamentary colleague. Dame Margaret tweeted yesterday: ‘I never want to see Nigel Farage’s party in Parliament. But Lisa Forbes and the Labour Party have a lot to answer for.’

Miss Forbes was also accused of praising a string of other anti-Semitic posts.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said she could not celebrate the result, tweeting: ‘The reality is I cannot be gleeful or proud as I’d want to be because of how it shows that anti-Semitism is becoming normal in the party’

Fellow Labour MP Wes Streeting, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism, added: ‘Labour is normalising anti-Semitism and I won’t be a bystander to it’

One said Islamic extremists were created by the CIA and Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service. The newly-elected Labour MP wrote underneath: ‘I have enjoyed reading this thread so much.

‘So much that trys (sic) to divide us, but there is far much more that unites us.’

She also posted on a Facebook page which referred to Zionist rats and alleged that ‘ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi is a Jewish Mossad agent’. And she signed a letter to Labour’s ruling executive calling on the party not to adopt the internationally-accepted definition of anti-Semitism in full.

Miss Forbes later apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ saying she had liked the video attached to the post, ‘not the views expressed in the accompanying text’. 

Yesterday the Jewish Labour Movement, which refused to campaign for Miss Forbes, urged the party to suspend its newest MP. 

It issued a statement calling her a ‘perfect example’ of a Labour activist who advanced within the party despite promoting ‘racist material’.

Ms Forbes also posted on a Facebook page which referred to Zionist rats and alleged that ‘ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi is a Jewish Mossad agent’

Euan Philipps, of Labour Against Antisemitism, called for the MP to be suspended. He said: ‘The narrow victory by Lisa Forbes in the Peterborough by-election is a dark day for the Labour Party. 

When evidence of [her] allegedly anti-Semitic views emerged last weekend she should have been forced to stand down immediately, as urged by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.’

‘It appears that tribalism has trumped principle, and that the policy of zero tolerance for anti-Semitism has once again been abandoned by the Labour Party.’

A Jewish Labour Movement spokesman said: ‘Miss Forbes will have to go far, far further … to demonstrate to our members and the Jewish community that she isn’t racist against Jews. The party is simply incapable of rooting out hate by itself.’

Anti-racism campaigners Hope Not Hate also urged Miss Forbes to give up the Labour whip. A Labour Party source said: ‘Lisa Forbes did not make any comments herself or share any posts. She has fully accounted for this genuine mistake and apologised.’ 

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