Labour MP Wes Streeting refuses to apologise after telling anti-Semitism activist to ‘F*** OFF’ and ‘DO ONE’ in Twitter row over Labour candidate hoping to unseat Boris Johnson
- Ali Milani is aiming to unseat Boris Johnson in Ruilsip at the next general election
- He has apologised for sending several disgraceful anti-Semitic tweets in 2012
- Labour MP West Streeting said he ‘should be judged on how he’s listened and learned’
- Campaigner Euan Phillips said that was a lame defence by a so-called moderate
- Streeting told Phillips to ‘f*** off’ online and today stood by his ‘blunt’ language
A Labour MP has refused to apologise this morning after telling a leading campaigner against anti-Semitism to ‘f*** off’ and ‘do one’ on Twitter in a row over the man aiming to unseat Boris Johnson at the next election.
Ali Milani, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate in the PM’s Uxbridge and South Ruilsip constituency, tweeted anti-Semitic comments in 2012 including one which read ”No you won’t it’ll cost u a pound #jew’ and another which implied a similarity between Israel and the Nazi regime: ‘Oppression is something your people should know about’.
He has since taken a trip to Auschwitz and apologised, saying the 2012 tweets were from ‘an incredibly long time ago’ and did not reflect his current world view.
Wes Streeting MP, left, stands by his four-letter rebuke to Labour Against Anti-Semitism spokesman Euan Phillips, right. Mr Phillips was appalled by Mr Streeting’s ‘lame’ defence of Ali Milani, who will be running against Boris Johnson despite his history of anti-Semitic tweets
Mr Streeting this morning said: ‘it was very disheartening to find myself accused of excusing antisemitism, which is why I expressed my frustration in my own characteristically blunt way’
Labour MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting, said yesterday: ‘His remarks were inexcusable, but he should also be judged on how he’s listened and learned’. He added: ‘We’ve got to give change a chance’.
But Labour Against Anti-Semitism campaigner Euan Phillips, replied: ‘I think this qualifies as the lamest defence of #LabourAntisemitism from a so-called moderate I have ever seen. And there have been a few.’
Mr Streeting shot back, at 9.12pm on Saturday evening: ‘Oh please just do one, Euan. I am saying very clearly that there’s a place for genuine repentance and redemption. Of course there is.
‘But if you’re throwing stones at people for excusing antisemitism honestly just f*** off.’
Mr Milani apologised for anti-Semitic tweets he sent in 2012 and encouraged others to visit Auschwitz. Online critics asked whether Labour could not find someone with no history of sending anti-Semitic tweets to stand as prospective parliamentary candidates
This morning Mr Streeting clarified his position to MailOnline but did not apologise.
He said: ‘I was complaining about his attack on me specifically, not his general work calling out apologists for antisemitism.’
He added: ‘My own record on relentlessly challenging antisemitism within the Labour Party, from getting antisemites thrown out to challenging the Leader of the Labour Party for his failings, speaks for itself.
‘Euan Phillips and his team of volunteers do a great job, but it was very disheartening to find myself accused of excusing antisemitism, which is why I expressed my frustration in my own characteristically blunt way.
‘I will never be an apologist for antisemitism. I do think that people should be given a chance to demonstrate that they’ve listened, learned and genuinely committed to fighting antisemitism, which is what our discussion was originally about.’
In a video interview Mr Milani apologised for the remarks sent seven years ago when he was 17, and said he had learned a lot in the intervening years.
He has been an outspoken critic of Mr Johnson and is planning to use his local credentials to overturn the Prime Minister’s majority of 7.000.
But online critics asked whether Labour could not find someone with no history of sending anti-Semitic tweets to stand as a prospective parliamentary candidate.
Labour Against Antisemitism submitted a complaint to the Labour Party about Mr Milani last year, in which it accused him of posting antisemitic content, and asked the party to investigate urgently.
The group also accused him of breaching the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.
In 2018 ahead of council elections Mr Philipps, a Labour Against Antisemitism spokesman, said: ‘It is outrageous that a person such as Mr Milani could have been selected to stand as a Labour councillor when his appalling behaviour is on public record and easily available to anyone wishing to know his background.’