AS the Labour Party continues to be plagued by antisemites and racists, more Councillor faces the chop over bigoted comments.
Wirral Councillor Jo Bird has received notice from the national party that she may face ‘auto expulsion’ over her connection with Labour Against The Witchhunt – a growing campaign group accused of downplaying antisemitism within the party.
In a series of speeches at one of the proscribed group’s meetings, Bird gave her support to members who had been expelled, before writing that claims of antisemitism were taken more seriously by Labour than other forms of racism.
She has also appeared to compare herself and similar activists to the victims of the Holocaust, rewriting a famous poem about Nazi persecution to say, “They came for the anti-zionists, and I stood up because I was not a target, I stood up in solidarity. And then they came for the socialists but they couldn’t get us because we were having a party, the Labour Party.”
Bird later apologised over her characterisation of the party’s inquiry process, saying, “I am sorry for any offence caused by my play on words. That was not my intention.”
Attacking the expulsion of activist Marc Wadsworth, however, Bird shockingly wrote that “due process” should be known as “Jew process” – a comment that led to her initial investigation.
Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is desperately trying to improve its image following the EHRC’s damning report on their widespread bigotry and racism.
To help achieve this, the affiliation of members with numerous groups has been banned.
Alongside LATW, those other groups affected include the Labour In Exile Network (LIEN), and Resist, founded by ex MP Chris Williamson.
A fourth group, the militant ‘Socialist Appeal’ were proscribed for their support for Marxism and ‘extreme’ ideologies.
The Labour Party has issued a series of notifications threatening auto expulsion, including Leah Levane, co-chair of JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour), over her involvement with the LEIN group.
Responding to the notice, Levane said:”I feel angry to receive this letter, but also feel honoured to be in the firing line at the same time and for the same reasons as many other excellent committed socialists.”