REPORT: Margaret Hodge, a Jewish Labour party MP, is said to have attacked her party leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying, “You’re a f***ing anti-Semite and a racist,” following his party’s refusal to accept the widely supported IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
– UK Labour Party’s decision was condemned, even within the party.
Margaret Hodge, a veteran Jewish Labour Party MP, called opposition and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a “f***ing anti-Semite” on Tuesday, after the party leadership refused to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, according to The Huffington Post.
Hodge, a former British minister, confronted Corbyn in the House of Representatives after a vote on Brexit. The exchange between the two took place near the Speaker of the House of Commons and outside cameras’ view.
According to a fellow MP, Hodge told Corbyn: “You’re a f***ing anti-Semite and a racist, you have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.”
A witness of the exchange said that Corbyn replied: “I’m sorry you feel like that.”
In addition, a Labour Party source said that Hodge “was aggressive, Jeremy was calm. Other MPs who were there were upset by it.”
Corbyn is expected to invite Hodge to discuss the issue calmly in a meeting, Hodge is also likely to be asked to appear before a Labour disciplinary panel.
Hodge is considered a tough critic of Corbyn. She led a vote of no confidence against him in 2016 and has repeatedly criticized Corbyn’s position on anti-Semitism. Once, she even referred to Corbyn as “the face of anti-Semitism.”
Instead of accepting the full definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the IHRA, a definition widely supported by party members, the Labour Party updated its Values document and now states that “anti-Semitism is racism” and “unacceptable.”
Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, said that the party’s failure to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism sends “unprecedented message of contempt” for the British Jewish community.
Labour MP Ian Austin called the party’s move “utterly shameful,” and added: “I am ashamed to be a member of the Labour Party.”
Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, said: “Are we serious about winning a General Election? Are we serious about dealing with anti-Semitism? We need to grip this issue and close it down. The people who will judge us on this are the Jewish community and rightly so.”
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