Wes Streeting: 'I'll never be president of the Corbyn fan club'

Monday, July 8, 2019

Wes Streeting has claimed he will "never be president of the Jeremy Corbyn fan club", as he seeks advice on using parliamentary privilege to break gagging orders against ex-Labour staff wanting to speak out about antisemitism.

The Labour MP has threatened to use his right to freedom of speech in the House of Commons to get around non-disclosure agreements, which have prevented party members making their concerns about Labour's handling of antisemitism public.

He says he has had "some emails" over the weekend from those wanting to speak out.

"The Labour Party is tougher on those people who express concern rather than the antisemites and the apologists themselves," Mr Streeting told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

He said that he had watched "with absolute horror" how the party had handled antisemitism allegations to date, and that "enough is enough".

"The regular defence of 'Oh, Jeremy [Corbyn] doesn't get involved in disciplinary cases... that doesn't wash when Jeremy Corbyn as leader has more control over the organs of the Labour Party than any other leader in Labour's history.

"The best way to support Jeremy Corbyn right now is to kick antisemites out of the Labour Party and draw a line under this miserable affair, but I've given up hope that Corbyn can do it."

When pressed by Hartley-Brewer why he did not leave the party, he said he refused to be "driven out".

"I refuse to give ground to antisemites and their apologists, and to be driven out of a political party that I think throughout its 100-year history has done fundamental good for our country."

Around half a dozen former Labour employees have broken their NDAs in order to speak to the BBC about how the party handled complaints of anti-Jewish abuse.

As a result, legal letters have been sent out from law firm Carter Ruck, a move which has been condemned by Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson.

He tweeted: "Using expensive media lawyers in [an] attempt to silence staff members is as futile as it is stupid.

"It's not the Labour way and I deplore it."

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