Senior Labour member suspended after 'Judas' attack on Tom Watson over 'Jewish donors'

Posted On: 
6th August 2018

A senior Labour member was today suspended after he accused Tom Watson of being “bought” by Jewish donors and compared him to biblical backstabber Judas Iscariot.

Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn
PA Images

George McManus - who serves on the Labour National Policy Forum and has been backed by Momentum - lashed out at the deputy Labour leader amid the row over anti-Semitism in the party.

The East Yorkshire member later apologised for his incendiary comments - but a Labour source confirmed he had been suspended pending an investigation.

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Mr Watson has faced a barrage of criticism from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn over the past 24 hours after he said Labour would face “eternal shame” if it failed to end the row over anti-Jewish racism.

Mr McManus took to Facebook to say: “Apparently Electoral Commission states that Watson received £50,000+ from Jewish donors. At least Judas only got 30 pieces of silver.”

Responding to another Facebook user who questioned his comments, Mr McManus said: “Hasn’t Tom been bought/compromised? Can you imagine if Jeremy had taken £50k from Hamas or Sinn Feinn? [sic]”

Labour MP Wes Streeting blasted the “classic anti-Semitic trope” as he called for swift action from Mr Corbyn and party general secretary Jennie Formby.

Mr McManus later deleted the post and apologised to Mr Watson and the Jewish community for drawing the analogy between his donations and the story of Judas.

He added: “I fully accept that such an analogy is wrong and am sorry for making the comparison.”

It is just the latest rupture in the party as the row over anti-Semitism continues to rage.

Mr Corbyn released a video yesterday in which he admitted the party had been “too slow” to deal with anti-Semitism cases and apologised to Jewish people for the “hurt that has been caused”.

The leader added: “It is my responsibility to root out anti-Semitism in the Labour party.”  

The latest row was sparked after Labour bosses decided not to take on the widely used International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism in full as part of a new code of conduct.