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Hodge attacks Corbyn in anti-semitism storm

Angry Commons confrontation with Labour leader

20 July, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Dame Margaret Hodge claims the party has weakened the definition of anti-semitism

THE former leader of Islington Council locked horns with Jeremy Corbyn this week when she accused him of being anti-semitic and turning the Labour Party racist.

Dame Margaret Hodge, who headed the council in the 1980s, confronted the Labour leader during Tuesday’s House of Commons vote on Brexit.

The Labour MP for Barking, who is Jewish, stood by her views in a piece in Wednesday’s Guard­ian newspaper, add­ing that the party had purposely weakened the definition of anti-semitism.

Members of Labour’s ruling committee decided on a new code of conduct around anti-semitism on Tuesday at a meeting where Mr Corbyn was present for a short time.

The code does not include all of the “working examples” of anti-semitism as given by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition, which includes claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour.

A Labour spokesman told the Tribune that its code “adopts the IHRA definition and expands on and contextualises its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases”.

It is understood that Dame Margaret may be facing disciplinary measures following her outburst, which has divided the party.

She started her political career on Islington Council in 1973, rising to become leader.

She faced huge controversy following a 1992 exposé which highlighted widespread abuse in the borough’s children’s homes – a scandal which has dogged her career ever since.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “The Labour Party is committed to tackling anti-semitism in all its forms. Labour’s new general secretary Jennie Formby’s first priority is to speed up and strengthen our procedures and to develop a programme of political education on anti-semitism.”


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