Jewish Labour MP left in tears at launch of anti-Semitism report

Posted On: 
30th June 2016

A Jewish MP was left in tears at the launch of a report into anti-Semitism in the Labour party today after being accused of "working hand in hand" with a Conservative-supporting newspaper .

Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the anti-Semitism report today
PA Images

Ruth Smeeth was singled out by a member of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum as the Labour leader looked on.

Marc Wadsworth of the Momentum Black Connexions group had earlier been handing out a press release to journalists calling for the deselection of Labour MPs who want Mr Corbyn to resign.

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He refused to give one to Ms Smeeth, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent, but she was passed a copy by Daily Telegraph journalist Kate McCann.

The anti-Semitism report was then launched by human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti and Mr Corbyn.

Its recommendations included: "Racial or religious tropes and stereotypes about any group of people should have no place in our modern Labour party."

During a question-and-answer session afterwards, Mr Wadsworth said: "I welcome this report you've been very brave Shami in refusing to raise the temperature of the witch hunt that has been going on in this anti-Semitism debate.

"I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand."


Mr Corbyn had earlier condemned the Mr Wadsworth's press release, which calls anti-Corbyn MPs "traitors".

He said: "There should be no bad language used there should be no abuse used and I don't like the use of the word traitor either. I've sent out a statement this morning saying whatever the situation and the political debate in the party at the moment no abuse, no name calling, none of that kind of behaviour - I've made it absolutely clear to people who agree with me or don't, I am very very determined about that thanks for your question."

After the event, Mr Wadsworth denied that he was suggesting there was a "conspiracy" between Ms Smeeth and the Telegraph.

He added: "I'm a whole-hearted supporter of fighting anti-semitism and have been fighting against anti-semitism and racism all my life and will continue to be.

"Jewish people have played a massive and crucial role in the anti-racism movement."
But the incident was condemned by some of Mr Smeeth's parliamentary colleagues.