Antisemitism goes unpunished at fractious party meetings
Labour Party figures are angry that disciplinary action has not been taken against members in a branch that was allegedly beset by incidents of antisemitism “with troubling regularity”.
An investigation was conducted into the Liverpool Riverside constituency party after a series of complaints about “uncomradely behaviour, endemic behavioural problems within meetings and incidents of antisemitism”, according to its final report.
The confidential document, which was presented to Labour’s governing committee around a year ago, was obtained by The Times this week. The investigation took place for up to 18 months, during which Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader.
Claire Kober interview: ‘The only thing worse in Labour than sexism is the antisemitism’
The Haringey council chief who quit after a campaign of abuse from the left talks to Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson
There are many examples of the bullying and misogyny suffered by Claire Kober, who resigned this week as the Labour leader of Haringey council, but one meeting last summer sticks in her mind. The public gallery, which was packed with left-wing activists, had been “quite noisy” throughout the evening but as the event drew to a close, she recalls, “someone shouted ‘Kober’ and then they started singing the Police song Every Breath You Take, which is obviously about a man stalking a woman. It’s an isolated example but it gets to the culture of intimidation based on your gender.”
This week, Ms Kober — the most senior Labour woman in local government — announced her intention to stand down at the local elections in May after a vicious campaign orchestrated by the pressure group Momentum, during which moderate Labour councillors in the north London borough were purged and a local housing project blocked by the party’s ruling national executive committee. “You don’t realise how difficult something’s been until you reflect back on it,” she says. “You start each week in quite a positive frame of mind but if I look back over the last year it’s been pretty relentless. It feels like every week there’s a curveball and . . . much of it comes from Labour Party members.”