UK Labour party drops investigation into Jewish MP
The UK Labour Party has dropped a disciplinary investigation into Jewish MP Dame Margaret Hodge, following outrage from the Jewish community and Labour moderates about the investigation and the antisemitism imbroglio the party is currently caught up in.
Hodge angrily told Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to his face he was an “antisemitic racist” in the House of Commons after Labour’s National Executive Committee last month adopted parts of an internationally accepted definition of antisemitism but excluded several key clauses.
Just 12 hours later Hodge was informed in a letter by Labour’s general-secretary Jennie Formby that she was being investigated for breaching the party’s rules of conduct, leading to outrage that the party was acting so swiftly against her whilst it has dragged its feet in taking disciplinary action against its members who have made antisemitic comments or participated in antisemitic events.
Formby wrote to Hodge on Monday to tell her that the investigation had been dropped, but seemingly implied that this decision was taken in light of a supposed apology Hodge made to the Labour chief whip over the matter.
Hodge posted her lawyer’s response to the general secretary which said that while the decision was welcomed “the basis on which you seek to explain your belated volte-face is entirely disingenuous,” and insisting that the MP had made no such apology.
“You have entirely misrepresented our client’s discussions with the Opposition Chief Whip in a cynical attempt to save face in your necessary climb-down,” her lawyer asserted.
Hodge said on Twitter that she was pleased the party had dropped the investigation.
“After 55 years of LP [Labour Party] membership, going after me instead of addressing the issue was wrong. In 2018 antisemitism that has again reared its ugly head and the campaign against it goes on,” the MP wrote.
She added that the Labour Party “must adopt” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism in full to start rebuilding trust with the Jewish community.
This is the response to the letter I received from the Labour party earlier this evening. To be clear again; no apologies - on either side. pic.twitter.com/zDogfyk9LV— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) August 6, 2018