Jewish Labour Movement spokesman: Labour 'don't deserve to be aiming for government'

Jewish Labour Movement spokesman: Labour "don't deserve to be aiming for government"

A protester in a march against anti-Semitism

Friday, May 4, 2018

As local election results came in, it became clear that Labour had fallen out of favour in boroughs they previously held onto.

Despite the Prime Minister reportedly losing the support of her cabinet over the issue of Brexit and the customs union, the Conservatives swooped in on formerly Labour areas like Barnet, north London.

Some voters in the area are blaming anti-Semitism for the defeat, with north London's Jewish population calling on Labour to do more about anti-Semitism in the party.

Ivor Caplin, a spokesperson for The Jewish Labour Movement, told talkRADIO: “Well, the results today are of course, very mixed across the whole country, and a disappointing day for the Labour Party.

“With the Brexit shambles going on, you’d expect the official opposition to be making gains like we have done in past years.

"The issue of anti-Semitism – which is vile, disgusting – and now, as Barnet Councillor [Adam Lengleben] has said, it’s cost us the Barnet council, which is one of the most right-wing councils in the whole of the country,” explains Caplin.

“Its policies are terrible for the people of Barnet, but they have stood up and said that they cannot allow this anti-Semitism to continue.

"The people of Barnet have basically said to the Labour Party that if you don’t sort this out, then we cannot vote for you again.

"And while this has been suggested that it’s a London-specific issue, the feeling is spreading to the North-west of England, with Labour losing Kersal in Salford, which has a significantly big Jewish population.

"There will come a time that this will affect our electoral chances, and that happened last night,” he added.

“If you can’t listen to the wider electorate on issues like this then you don’t deserve to be running a party or aiming for government.”

The Labour Party has been feeling the pressure from Jewish communities for the last two years, and earlier today Ken Livingston, former Mayor of London and Labour MP, drew further ire when brought up Hitler within the first minute of a TV interview.

Asked by Sky host Adam Boulton whether he thought he could be a contributing factor in the Barnet loss, he replied: "If anybody believed I said Hitler was a Zionist, yes, that is damaging."

Caplin continued: "As if the Jewish community hadn’t had enough of a battering overnight, there is Ken Livingston on Sky TV repeating yet again his assertions about Hitler.

"This is ridiculous that this man is still in the Labour Party, and it is absolutely essential that he, and others are now expelled once and for all."

The JLM have arranged an emergency meeting with Labour’s new general secretary Jennie Formby next week to discuss the impact this has had on the Labour Party, and how they can eradicate this anti-Semitic image tarnishing the party.

"The anti-Semitism issue is directly affecting how people are thinking about the Labour Party and that will spread all over the UK if we are not careful,” Caplin says.