Labour's PPC for Wimbledon apologises after message shared on Facebook
An administrator of the Facebook page run for the Momentum Merton has been thrown out of the Labour campaign group for sharing a posting about an allegedly anti-Semitic mural.
The mural by street artist Mear One was painted on a wall in Brick Lane, East London, in 2012. Jeremy Corbyn’s apparently supportive message to the creator of the mural at the time has been criticised by a number of Jewish organisations.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said in an open letter to Labour MPs there has been a "repeated institutional failure" to properly address anti-Semitism.
It accuses Mr Corbyn of being unable to "seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left world view that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities".
In a statement last night (March 25), the Labour leader said he was "sincerely sorry" for the pain caused by "pockets of anti-Semitism" in the Labour Party.
But a message on the Momentum Merton Facebook page last night (below right) apparently questioned what was anti-Semitic about the mural, which was removed in 2012, and shared a blog posting about the issue.
The message has since been removed from the local group’s Facebook page, and Momentum Merton has said the person who posted the comments has been referred to the complaints procedure and will no longer be a member of Momentum.
Jackie Schneider, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon, said: “I’ve been made aware that an administrator of the Momentum Merton Facebook page shared an unacceptable post yesterday evening that goes against the values of our movement.
“I’d like to apologise for this, and reassure members and followers that the post has now been removed, and the person who posted the comments has been referred to complaints procedure, and will no longer be a member of Momentum.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism within our movement, nor attempts to divert attention away from it when it arises.”
Lib Dem Prospective parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon Carl Quilliam said it was “very sad” that local Labour members were apparently defending the mural. “Jeremy Corbyn has said that poster was anti-Semitic and he regrets defending it,” he said. “So it is quite extraordinary that Merton Momentum cannot see that is clearly anti-Semitic.”
Former Labour Party member, and Wimbledon police station campaigner, Paul Kohler (now a Lib Dem candidate in Merton's Trinity ward) said: "I am pleased to see that Merton Momentum decided to remove the deeply offensive comment after we raised the issue with them. It is sad that even the post that contained their apology was then commented upon by other Momentum members again questioning why the mural was anti-Semitic.
"Labour needs to face up to the fact that there is a hardcore minority of anti-Semites within Momentum and the Labour party need to do more than simply issue the occasional apology."
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March 26, 2018