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Corbyn faces questions over why it took FOUR DAYS to sack Christine Shawcroft

Jeremy Corbyn is facing questions over why it took him four days to sack his hard-left disciplinary chief after she defended a Holocaust denier.

Christine Shawcroft was forced out of her post after it emerged that she had e-mailed colleagues to demand the activist be let back into the party.  

But Labour MPs are now calling for her to be removed from the NEC altogether and kicked out of the Labour Party – and warn that if she is not then Mr Corbyn will be seen as a ‘hypocrite’.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader sparked fresh fury today by refusing to apologise for talking to banned terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

While his close ally John McDonnell was slammed for trying to shift the blame for the failure to tackle anti-Semitism on Labour’s outgoing General Secretary Iain McNicol.

Commenting on Ms Shawcroft, Labour MP John Mann told Mail Online: ‘She should be removed from the NEC immediately and expelled from the Labour Party…

‘If Jeremy Corbyn does not do this then he has demonstrated his inability to lead if he doesn’t sack her.’ 

But shadow chancellor Mr McDonnell toured the TV studios to defend Mr Corbyn’s handling of the case and say Ms Shawcroft should not be sacked form the NEC.

Labour was in meltdown over anti-Semitism last night after its disciplinary chief Christine Shawcroft (pictured) resigned for opposing the suspension of an apparent Holocaust denier

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell toured the TV studios to defend Mr Corbyn's handling of the case and say Ms Shawcroft should not be sacked form the NEC.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell toured the TV studios to defend Mr Corbyn’s handling of the case and say Ms Shawcroft should not be sacked form the NEC.

Mr Mann added said Ms Shawcroft should also be sacked as the director of the Corbyn-backing campaign group Momentum.

He said: ‘She might as well have been covering up for the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving.

Labour MP John Woodcock considering quitting party over Corbyn

John Woodcock (pictured in Parliament this week) MP for Barrow and Furness, is contemplating quitting the Labour whip and spending the rest of his time in Parliament as an independent

John Woodcock (pictured in Parliament this week) MP for Barrow and Furness, is contemplating quitting the Labour whip and spending the rest of his time in Parliament as an independent

A leading Labour moderate is on the brink of quitting the party over Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to tackle anti-Semitism and his response to the Salisbury attack.

John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, is contemplating quitting the Labour whip and spending the rest of his time in Parliament as an independent.

Mr Woodcock is an arch Corbyn critic and has previously said that he could not back him as Prime Minister.

He is furious at the way Mr Corbyn has failed confront the anti-Semitism that has plunged Labour into crisis.

The Labour leader stands accused of not confronting the abuse and anti-Semitic tropes peddled by his supporters and in his name. 

‘Jeremy  Corbyn has to sack her from the NEC today, otherwise he will be seen as a hypocrite by everyone.’

Mr Mann said he knew of dozens of Jewish Labour members who have left the party in the past week because they are fed up with Mr Corbyn’s inaction on anti-Semitism.

He added: ‘They are saying there is no safe space for them in the Labour Party.’ 

Labour MP Wes Streeting said: ‘Has Christine Shawcroft not resigned from the NEC? 

‘How on earth can she possibly remain given her inexcusable defence of a Holocaust denier? Her explanation is totally implausible.’

Louise Ellman, Labour MP Liverpool, Riversdale, said: ‘She should step down form the NERC. This is the first test of Jeremy Corbyn’s sincerity in addressing anti-Semitism and restoring confidence in the Labour Party.

‘These revelations question the credibility of Labour’s processes for dealing with anti-Semitism.’

Ruth Smeeth, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, said: ‘Stepping down from the disputes committee is not enough. 

‘Supporting holocaust deniers and dismissing real concerns about anti-Semitism as ‘factionalism’ makes you unfit to represent the Labor Party at any level.

‘Christine Shawcroft should not be on our NEC.’  

Asked whether Ms Shawcroft should resign from her post on Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, Mr McDonnell told Sky News: ‘Well, no, Jeremy has asked her to stand down as the chair of the disputes committee.’

A day after the suspension, the issue of anti-Semitism returned to the headlines when it emerged that Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) had defended the artist of an anti-Semitic mural

A day after the suspension, the issue of anti-Semitism returned to the headlines when it emerged that Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) had defended the artist of an anti-Semitic mural

He added: ‘She’s not at the head of that committee (the NEC). It is an elected position and it is up to the electorate to decide whether or not she should be elected again.’

2,000 Corbynistas sign open letter blaming anti-Semitism row on ‘special interest group’

More than 2,000 Corbynistas have signed an open letter blaming the anti-Semitism row on a ‘ very powerful special interest group’.

The activists suggested the row was a conspiracy organised by a powerful elite to smear Jeremy Corbyn’s name.

The letter says: ‘Yesterday we witnessed the full onslaught of a very powerful special interest group mobilising its apparent, immense strength against you.

‘It is clear this group can employ the full might of the BBC to make sure its voice is heard very loudly and clearly.

‘It is a shame not every special interest group can get the same coverage.’

It adds: ‘I support you and I trust you, more than I would trust any politician, to do the right thing in terms of racism, anti-Semitism and any hate mongering from anyone against anyone.

‘I hope that you can stay strong and carry on representing all of us (the many).’

It warns that Mr Corbyn has ‘powerful enemies’ but urges him to stand strong.

And he also appeared to lay the blame for the failure to tackle anti-Semitism with Labour’s outgoing general secretary Ian McNicol. 

The latest anti-Semitism scandal comes after a torrid week for Mr Corbyn in which he has faced protests against his leadership by Jewish leaders outside Parliament.

He has faced accusations he has willfully turned a blind eye to anti-Semitism peddled in his name and failed to speak out as Labour moderates who condemn the abuse are deluged with hate mail and threatened with deselection.

Over the past four days Mr Corbyn has tried to show he is committed to getting on top of the scandal – promising to finally meet Jewish leaders and to enact the recommendations of the Shami Chakrabarti review.

He sat down for an interview with Jewish News  – but the paper’s verdict today is damning with a front page headline reading ‘Not good enough’.

Labour was plunged into the latest scandal after it emerged Ms Shawcroft – who was elected to her post amid objections from moderates in January, defended Alan Bull.

The Labour candidate for Peterborough Council, posted an article to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax.’

It was accompanied with a picture of the famous gates of Auschwitz, with the phrase ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ [work sets you free] replaced with ‘Muh Holocaust’. 

This phrase is apparently used by opponents of Israel to allege that whenever anyone criticises it to a Jewish person, they will start talking about the Holocaust to deflect attention. 

The activist, Alan Bull, a Labour candidate for Peterborough Council, had been suspended for posting a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: 'International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax'

The activist, Alan Bull, a Labour candidate for Peterborough Council, had been suspended for posting a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax’

Despite this, Miss Shawcroft, the hard-Left chairman of Labour’s disputes panel, emailed colleagues on Sunday to criticise Mr Bull’s suspension. 

Labour is still delivering leaflets urging voters to back Alan Bull

Residents in Peterborough are still getting leaflets urging them to vote for Alun Bull even though he has been suspended from Labour

Residents in Peterborough are still getting leaflets urging them to vote for Alun Bull even though he has been suspended from Labour

Labour is still delivering leaflets urging voters in Peterborough to back the council candidate at the centre of the Holocaust denial scandal.

Residents in Stanground South have been handed posted urging them to to back Alan Bull for ‘a change’ – even though he has been suspended from Labour after posting a Holocaust denying article.

Labour MP John Mann demanded answers from Labour’s campaigns chief Ian Lavery.

He tweeted: ‘Why has this man not been removed as a candidate Ian Lavery? You are in charge of the campaign. Get him removed today please.’ 

It is understood than an elderly Labour volunteer delivered the leaflet by mistake as she did not know Mr Bull had been suspended.

Labour Party spokeswoman said: ‘Alan Bull has been suspended from the Party pending investigation and is not a Labour council candidate.’

Astonishingly, she claimed that the Facebook post was only ‘alleged to show anti-Semitism’ and said it had been taken ‘out of context’.

And she suggested he had only been suspended after having been targeted by moderates. 

Last night, Miss Shawcroft said she was ‘deeply sorry’ for defending the man behind the ‘abhorrent’ post – and announced she was resigning. 

It is believed she went after pressure from Mr Corbyn’s office.

The revelation places yet further question marks over how seriously Labour is taking allegations of anti-Semitism in the party. 

Mr Corbyn tried to get on the front foot in tackling the crisis by doing a big sit down interview with Jewish News in which he claimed he has always stood up to anti-Semitism.

But it risked backfiring after he refused to apologise for his previous talks with Hamas and Hezbollah – both banned terror groups.

Mr Corbyn, who has previously said he regrets describing the groups as ‘friends’ was asked directly if he could understand the ‘concerns’ of Jewish people over the issue.

But the Labour leader defended having talks with the groups.

He said: ‘The context was a discussion about a future peace in the Middle East. I used that language. 

‘I obviously realise this can be misinterpreted and indeed has been.

‘I clearly do not support their views but recognise – and I’m sure everyone else does – that there has to be a peace process that involves all groups in the Middle East, and that indeed is what many people have attempted to bring about over past governments.’

He said there must be a solution to the Middle East question.

He said: ‘That means that the settlement policy should end, the occupation of the West Bank should end, to have an effective two-state solution. 

The Jewish community called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

The Jewish community called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

‘As you know my party’s policy, which Ed Miliband led us on, was for recognition of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, and that was included in our manifesto as well. Indeed that’s what Parliament voted for.’

Corbyn risks fresh anger by refusing to apologise for talking with Hamas and Hezbollah 

Jeremy Corbyn risked sparking fresh anger in the Jewish community by refusing to apologise for holding talks with Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Labour leader tried to get on the front foot by doing a big sit down interview with Jewish News in which he claimed he has always stood up to anti-Semitism.

But it risked backfiring after he insisted he had the best of intentions in talking with the two banned terror groups.

Mr Corbyn, who has previously said he regrets describing the groups as ‘friends’ was asked directly if he could understand the ‘concerns’ of Jewish people over the issue. 

He replied: ‘The context was a discussion about a future peace in the Middle East. I used that language. 

‘I obviously realise this can be misinterpreted and indeed has been.

‘I clearly do not support their views but recognise – and I’m sure everyone else does – that there has to be a peace process that involves all groups in the Middle East, and that indeed is what many people have attempted to bring about over past governments.’

He said there must be a solution to the Middle East question and called for an end to Israeli settlements and for a two-state solution.

He said:  ‘As you know my party’s policy, which Ed Miliband led us on, was for recognition of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, and that was included in our manifesto as well. Indeed that’s what Parliament voted for.’ 

And in yet another development in the anti-Semitism scandal, many of Mr Corbyn’s supporters are still claiming the storm is a smear campaign warn by an ‘elite’ .

More than 2,000 Corbynistas have signed an open letter blaming the anti-Semitism row on a ‘ very powerful special interest group’.

The activists suggested the row was a conspiracy organised by a powerful elite to smear Jeremy Corbyn’s name.

The letter says: ‘Yesterday we witnessed the full onslaught of a very powerful special interest group mobilising its apparent, immense strength against you.

‘It is clear this group can employ the full might of the BBC to make sure its voice is heard very loudly and clearly.

‘It is a shame not every special interest group can get the same coverage.’

It adds: ‘I support you and I trust you, more than I would trust any politician, to do the right thing in terms of racism, anti-Semitism and any hate mongering from anyone against anyone.

‘I hope that you can stay strong and carry on representing all of us (the many).’

It warns that Mr Corbyn has ‘powerful enemies’ but urges him to stand strong. 

Yesterday, Jewish leaders wrote to the Labour leader to demand root-and-branch reform.

They demanded he take ‘personal responsibility’ for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour.

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council said the party must appoint an independent ombudsman to investigate claims of anti-Semitism.

The group laid out a list of demands it said the Labour leader must fulfill to show he is actually trying to tackle anti-Semitism.

They said all outstanding anti-Semitism cases must come to a ‘swift’ conclusion, and that Labour MPs, councillors and members must not share platforms with people who have been kicked out the party for the abuse.

The Board said the party must do more to engage with the Jewish community, that change must be ‘sustained and enduring’.

labour MP John Mann was among the moderates who attended the protest on Monday night to tell Jeremy Corbyn 'enough is enough' and he must do far more to tackle anti-Semitism

labour MP John Mann was among the moderates who attended the protest on Monday night to tell Jeremy Corbyn ‘enough is enough’ and he must do far more to tackle anti-Semitism

Who knew what and when about the Christine Shawcroft email backing a Holocaust denier?

Christine Shawcroft emailed colleagues on Sunday to criticise Alun Bull’s suspension.

Jon Lansman, the Momentum founder and NEC member, and the new General Secretary Jennie Formby, are both said to have been aware of her email.

Jeremy Corbyn sacked Ms Shawcroft from her post on Wednesday after being made aware of the email.

But it is unclear when he was first alerted to it.

The Labour leader’s office would not say when the message was first brought to their attention.
  

And they said Mr Corbyn must directly take on the activists peddling anti-Semitism in his name.

The Board wrote: ‘People inside and outside the Jewish community are repeatedly subjected to abuse and insults for raising the issue of anti-Semitism in the labour party.

‘This even affects those Labour MPs who showed their solidarity with the Jewish community on Monday. 

‘This is a disgrace. Nobody should be vilified for opposing anti-Semitism.’

In her statement last night, Miss Shawcroft said: ‘I sent this email before being aware of the full information about this case and I had not been shown the image of his abhorrent Facebook post.

‘Had I seen this image, I would not have requested that the decision to suspend him be re-considered.

‘I am deeply sorry for having done so. 

‘This week we have seen a clear expression of the pain and hurt that has been caused to Jewish members of our party and the wider Jewish community, and by the reality of anti-Semitism being denied and downplayed.’

Yesterday the Mail revealed Labour was dealing with at least 74 allegations of anti-Semitism.

Mr Bull was suspended on Thursday, nine months after posting the offensive article on Facebook. 

Labour’s outgoing General Secretary hits back at claims he failed to act on anti-Semitism

Outgoing Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol hit back at the claim by emailing members of Labour's NEC outlining the steps he had taken (file pic)

Outgoing Labour General Secretary Iain McNicol hit back at the claim by emailing members of Labour’s NEC outlining the steps he had taken (file pic)

Labour’s outgoing General Secretary today hit back at claims he failed to act on tackling anti-Semitism.

John McDonnell has tried to blame Iain McNicol for the scandal, claiming he failed to enact the recommendations of Shami Chakrabarti’s report.

But today Mr McNicol hit back at the claim by emailing members of Labour’s NEC outlining the steps he had taken.

He said he tried to hire staff to get through the backlog of disciplinary cases – including many anti-Semitism cases – but this was stalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s office.

A Labour insider told Huffington Post: ‘It shows that the real reason is a lack of political leadership. 

‘The hard Left on the NEC have also been defending some of those accused. 

‘It doesn’t matter what processes you put in place if there is no appetite to get serious on the issue.’ 

Ian McNicol was a leading moderate who is leaving amid reports he was forced out by Corbynistas.  

The suspension means he cannot stand in the local elections for Peterborough Council in May.

He claims he had only posted the page to ‘provoke discussion’.

A day after the suspension, the issue of anti-Semitism returned to the headlines when it emerged that Mr Corbyn had defended the artist of an anti-Semitic mural.

Two days later, on Sunday, Miss Shawcroft emailed senior Labour figures to question the suspension of Mr Bull. 

A director of Momentum, she took over as chairman of the Labour Party’s disputes sub-committee in February – ousting a moderate. She wrote: ‘I am concerned to hear about the suspension of Alan Bull.

‘The original complaint, a Facebook post taken completely out of context and alleged to show anti-Semitism, was received by the party almost a year ago; yet Mr Bull has been suspended just in time to stop him standing in the Peterborough… elections.’

She wrote that he had a chance of winning the council seat and that ‘elements’ of the local party wanted him suspended and added: ‘I think we should reinstate his membership.’

Last night the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council condemned threats to MPs who highlight the hatred of Jews.

They outlined six pre-conditions before they meet Mr Corbyn – including cases being ‘ brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale’.

The letter said: ‘An independent, mutually agreed ombudsman should be appointed to oversee performance, reporting to the Party and to the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council.’

Mr Corbyn was called on to take ‘personal responsibility’ that the changes are implemented.

Among the messages describing anti-Semitism cases as a smear was one by Annie Macfarlane. 

She wrote: ‘This is just a vicious slur in the lead up to the council elections. The genuine people know the truth.’

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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