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Labour peer tasked with rooting out anti-semitism in party vows to re-open old cases

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Labour peer Lord Falconer has vowed to re-open any cases of anti-semitism from activists that have been brushed under the carpet, as he warned the issue could stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.


The former minister has been drafted in to get a grip on the issue - although he yesterday revealed his role was not a done deal despite Labour general secretary Jennie Formby announcing it on Friday.

He would be appointed as an anti-semitism commissioner with full oversight of the complaints and disciplinary process.

It comes as Labour scrambles to get a grip on the anti-semitism crisis that has engulfed the party and played a role in the eight defections to the Independent Group.

Lord Falconer said one of his first acts if he takes on the job will be to re-open an inquiry into abuse in the Liverpool Riverside constituency - held by Labour Friends of Israel vice chair Louise Ellman.

“If there are stone cold cases where nothing has been done, they would need to be looked at again,” he said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

He added: “It is plain that there is now a series of conspiratorial views held by members of the Labour party, which provide an ideological justification for anti-semitism,”

And in a stark warning, he said: “I want there to be a Labour prime minister, and Jeremy is the leader of the Labour party. I want him to be prime minister. This is preventing it.

“I can’t see how Labour’s voice would be heard by the public... if there was a general view that we were anti-semitic. We could not win a general election and nor would we deserve to.”

WATSON FORMBY ROW

Ms Formby said on Friday that Lord Falconer had agreed to the role as she attacked deputy leader Tom Watson over his pledge to set up a shadow anti-semitism complaints process.

But the peer tweeted yesterday: “Meetings with Labour party next week to agree terms on my independent anti-semitism role. Undertaking the role subject to agreement being reached.”

And he waded into the row between Ms Formby and Mr Watson himself, taking the side of the deputy leader.

“Something has been profoundly lacking, over a very long period of time," he said.

"There’s nothing wrong with the deputy leader or any other MP asking for information about how complaints are going.

"To say that is a breach of data laws is obviously wrong.”

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