Labour Party’s Really Low Moment

On Sunday Sir Kier Starmer acknowledged that Louise Ellman’s resignation was a “really low moment” for the Labour Party and showed that they need to redouble their efforts to deal with antisemitism.

He claimed that Labour had already done a lot of work to tackle antisemitism. But the number of resignations suggests that Jewish members of the party do not share his view.

Dame Louise was MP for Liverpool Riverside, but after 55 years in the Labour Party she submitted her resignation last week, citing the belief that a general election is imminent and that she could not ask people to vote Labour while Jeremy Corbyn was leader.

Louise EllmanLouise Ellman

She wrote in her resignation letter that:

‘Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, antisemitism has become mainstream in the Labour Party.

Acknowledging the trauma of the situation in which she found herself, she thinks she has made the right decision and said of Jeremy Corbyn:

“I don’t know what’s in his heart but I do know he has presided over the unprecedented growth
of antisemitism within the Labour Party and I hold him responsible.”

During his time as leader, she said,

‘Jewish members of the party have been bullied, abused and driven out.
Anti-Semites have felt comfortable, and vile conspiracy theories have been propagated.’

She also highlighted the fact that any political party ‘that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called an anti-racist party’ – a claim that the Labour Party likes to make of itself.

Thus the row over antisemitism, which became a crisis for Labour in July this year, continues to rumble on. The evidence against the party is simply too strong to be ignored.

In a previous interview, Sir Kier stated his belief that Labour now face an urgent task of turning the party into one to which people like Louise Ellman would feel comfortable returning.