Canterbury's first ever Labour MP faces 'motion of censure' over anti-Semitism stance

Posted On: 
10th September 2018

A Labour MP who won a seat the party had never held before could be disciplined by her local activists just a year after her historic victory.

Rosie Duffield won the Canterbury seat with a majority of just 187.
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Rosie Duffield was elected in Canterbury last June with a majority of just 187 after winning the seat from Conservative Julian Brazier, who has been MP for the constuency for nearly 30 years.

But she will face a "motion of censure" by members of the Canterbury constituency Labour party on Wednesday night.

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The move follows comments she has made criticising Jeremy Corbyn's handling of the anti-Semitism row which has gripped the party in recent months.

Speaking to the Jewish Labour Movement conference last week, Ms Duffield said MPs could "go on strike" unless the party fully adopted the internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism.

The motion of censure also criticises her for attending a demonstration against anti-Semitism in the Labour party in Parliament Square earlier this year.

It says: "We have observed the words and conduct of our Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, and we are dissatisfied at her decision to involve herself with groups and organisations that are campaigning to damage our party, as well as impede its efforts to ensure the right to criticise crimes committed by the state of Israel.

"We are particularly concerned that Rosie chose to show her support for these parties at a demonstration organised to groundlessly accuse the Party of systematic antisemitism. She compounded this conduct by carelessly appearing to threaten the leader at a meeting of an organisation which, though affiliated with the Labour Party, does not at all times share its priorities.

"With regret, this CLP censures Rosie Duffield for this conduct."

The move provoked an angry reaction from fellow Labour MP Anna Turley.

 

Ms Duffield is the latest Labour MP to face sanction by their local party activists for appearing to criticise Jeremy Corbyn.

They include Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, who saw a motion of no confidence in her passed by Enfield North CLP last week.

Jeremy Corbyn was challenged on the Canterbury row at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party on Monday evening, and asked whether he would intervene on Ms Duffield's behalf.

Afterwards, a spokesman for the Labour leader said: "It's not his job to become involved in local internal party issues."

But Labour MP Siobhan McDonagh said: "Rosie Duffield has been an MP for 18 months. She is a young woman facing a disciplinary meeting on Wednesday.

"It is incumbent on all of us to make sure that that meeting is conducted in a proper and respectful way to both member and Rosie. The idea that the leader of our party is not responsible for that is completely wrong."