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EXCL Jennie Formby condemns 'anti-Semitic' attacks on Labour rival Jon Lansman

2 min read

Jennie Formby has condemned "anti-Semitic" social media attacks on Jon Lansman, her rival to be the next general secretary of the Labour party.

Momentum founder Mr Lansman has been accused of being a "Zionist" by a number of Labour supporters unhappy about his decision to challenge the senior Unite official.

Ms Formby announced last week that she was running to succeed Iain McNicol, who stunned party staff by dramatically quitting the powerful role.

PoliticsHome revealed that Mr Lansman, who is Jewish, was being urged by allies to run as the "stop Formby" candidate.

Despite days of pressure from senior party figures, including Jeremy Corbyn himself, the left-wing veteran announced he would be throwing his hat into the ring "to open up the contest and ensure we have a wide range of candidates".

His decision has sparked an outbreak of Labour in-fighting, with some supporters of Mr Corbyn criticising his decision.

Supporters of Ms Formby, who also include Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and other senior members of the Labour frontbench, fear Mr Lansman could split the left-wing vote and allow a more moderate candidate to win.

Separately, some have appeared to use Mr Lansman's views on Israel as a reason to oppose his bid to be general secretary.

Ms Formby told PoliticsHome: "These attacks on a colleague are disgraceful and must cease. This abuse has no place in the Labour party."

In her statement announcing her candidacy, Ms Formby said she stood for "a tolerant and welcoming party, with no place for anti-Semitism, racism and misogyny or any form of abuse or intimidation".

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