‘Deliberately misleading & biased’: Labour shreds BBC report depicting Party as anti-Semitic swamp

Lester Mason
July 12, 2019

An episode of BBC Panorama entitled 'Is Labour Anti-Semitic?' purported to get to the bottom of what the BBC has melodramatically described as "the anti-Semitism crisis gripping Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party".

Jennie Formby, one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies, is at the centre of a fresh row over alleged political interference in the handling of complaints against Labour Party members.

"They have claimed to be in opposition to racism, yet this investigation appears to show them conspiring to engineer the party apparatus to protect racists within the party and attacking those fearless enough to call it out", she said.

A BBC spokesman said: "The programme adheres to the BBC's editorial guidelines". It noted that this research found that "the BBC and Guardian out-did all their competitors in bias".

Former party complaints administrator Martha Robinson, 24, denied that the former staffers were "politically motivated" against Mr Corbyn and his team as she had personally voted for him to be leader.

Colleague Jess Phillips said on Twitter that the claims made in the program were "worse than I expected".

Did I think when I joined the Labour Party five years ago whilst in 6th Form that my experience of the Labour Party would be defined nearly entirely by antisemitism?

"They obviously feel very, very concerned that our procedures were not working". He was replaced by Jennie Formby as general Secretary.

Mr Watson told Sky the "Panorama programme was a watershed moment" and said a new independent complaints system "made up of people of standing from the Jewish community" should be brought in.

The probe will determine whether the party, its employees or its "agents" unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised Jews.

In many respects, whether Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic himself isn't the central issue here.

MP Wes Streeting told Sky News that the party's response to the programme was "absolutely sickening".

But what the BBC did not report was the context, cutting out words that showed he was talking about Jewish members being accused of antisemitism. Tackling bigotry and discrimination is at the core of what the Labour Party is all about.

Yet, given the seriousness of the misgivings that continue to be expressed by Mr Watson, and many others, some will be surprised that the deputy leader has not resigned in disgust at the double standards which undermine the Labour movement's long-held, and very principled, stance against racism.

In response to the claims about Mr Milne, a Labour Party spokesperson said: "This allegation is false and malicious, and our response has been misrepresented by Panorama, throwing into doubt the extent and seriousness of their engagement with the Labour party's responses".

The party said that "no proper and serious attempt was made to understand our current procedures for dealing with anti-Semitism, which is clearly essential to reach a fair and balanced judgement".

Panorama also detailed the disputes over the disciplinary process meant to deal with the antisemitism problem.

Reacting to the documentary, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said: "The shocking evidence shown in the devastating and heartbreaking Panorama documentary makes it clearer than ever that the Labour Party has deeply embedded institutional antisemitism in its processes, culture and leadership". If not, voters will have even more reason - in spite of the Tory turmoil - to think twice about voting for Labour in future.

A spokesman said on Wednesday: "We completely reject any claim that the Labour Party is antisemitic".

"Labour is taking decisive action against anti-Semitism, doubling the number of staff dedicated to dealing with complaints and cases".

"This throws into doubt their credibility as sources".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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