Jackie Walker on verge of losing Momentum role over Holocaust remarks

Posted On: 
30th September 2016

Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker could lose her role on the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group for claiming it would be “wonderful” if Holocaust Memorial Day was not focussed solely on Jews.

Jackie Walker appearing with Jeremy Corbyn less than a month ago

The veteran activist - a long-time ally of the Labour leader - had previously been at the centre of controversy for claiming that Jews were "the chief financiers of the slave trade".

She was suspended by the Labour party but was re-instated after being cleared of anti-Semitism.

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In her latest controversy, she was filmed at a fringe event at the Labour conference saying she had not heard a definition of anti-Semitism that she could "work with".

Ms Walker said: "In terms of Holocaust day wouldn't it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust...

“In practice it's not actually circulated and advertised as such."

She added: "I came in here... and I was looking for information and I still haven't heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with."

A spokesman for Momentum said: "Members of Momentum's steering committee are seeking to remove Jackie Walker as vice-chair of the committee."

Last night Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA union and a major backer of Mr Corbyn, called on Ms Walker to leave the Labour party.

He said: "I am asking Jackie that, in the interests of unity, she resigns at once from our party and also as vice-chair of Momentum.

"If she doesn’t, both the Labour party and Momentum need to act to get rid of her at once. Furthermore, TSSA will seriously reconsider our union’s support for Momentum if she is still in post by this time next week."

Ms Walker - who issued a statement two days ago apologising for any offence she had caused - last night went on Channel Four News to defend herself.

She said: "As far as I am aware, the Holocaust Memorial Day is celebrating genocides that happen after the Nazis. Bosnia, Cambodia, they were all after the Nazis. Of course the Jewish Holocaust was an awful and extraordinary event and Jewish people should have a day to celebrate that.

"But as a mixed-race person who is African and Jewish, I was making the point that why is the Cambodian genocide, which was after the 1940s, included and the African holocaust is not?"

The row is also embarrassing for Mr Corbyn, who earlier this month came under fire for appearing on stage at a leadership rally alongside Ms Walker.