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Sat, 11 July 2020

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By Andrew McQuillan
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Ken Loach: Labour MPs who went to anti-Semitism demo should be kicked out of party

Ken Loach: Labour MPs who went to anti-Semitism demo should be kicked out of party

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Labour MPs who joined the demonstration against anti-Semitism in the party should be kicked out, according to pro-Jeremy Corbyn filmmaker Ken Loach.

The veteran director accused attendees of playing “dirty tricks” and accused the Israeli government of “infiltrating and undermining the Labour left”.

But he later insisted he did not think MPs should be booted out on the basis of a single incident.

It comes after the Israeli Labour party suspended relations with its British counterpart in the wake of the latest anti-Semitism row to hit Mr Corbyn.

The leader has admitted there are “pockets” of anti-Jewish racism in the party and insisted the concerns are not a “smear” against him - as some supporters argue.

Mr Loach - who made three of the Labour general election broadcasts last year - made the remarks at a screening of his most recent movie ‘I Daniel Blake’, organised by the Kingswood Constituency Labour Party in Bristol.

He argued the party would be helpless in Government if “you’ve got two thirds of Labour MPs undermining Jeremy Corbyn when he is prime minister”.

He went on: “Unless we get Labour MPs who believe in that manifesto last year we won't get in power.

“If they've been going to the demonstration against him outside Westminster... those are the ones we need to kick out.”

And he added: “You cannot work with people who have come to undermine the biggest challenge we've had - we've never had a leader like Corbyn before in the whole history of the Labour party….and that's why the dirty tricks are going to come out.”

But approached about the comments by the Daily Mail last night, Mr Loach said his earlier comments “do not reflect my position”, as he would not want MPs deselected based on one event.

“Re-selecting an MP should not be based on individual incidents but reflect the MP's principles, actions and behaviour over a long period. Being an MP is not a job for life,” he explained.

“My view is that candidates should be selected for every election and party members should be able to make a democratic choice.”

It comes after Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire, whose Bristol West constituency neighbours Kingswood, was run out of a local party meeting after she attended the anti-Semitism demo.

But Mr Corbyn defended her, telling his supporters: “I have no problem with anyone attending demonstrations.”

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