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October 17, 2019 12:14 pm

British Jewish Groups Lament Labour Antisemitism After Veteran MP Ellman Resigns Over Issue

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

MP Louise Ellman speaking at the House of Commons on Jan. 8, 2019. Photo: Screenshot.

British Jewish groups weighed in on Thursday after a veteran Labour party MP announced her resignation from the party, citing antisemitism as the reason.

Louise Ellman announced her decision on Wednesday in a letter in which she denounced Labour’s antisemitism problem and especially party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out,” Ellman said. “Antisemites have felt comfortable and vile conspiracy theories have been propagated. … A party that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called an anti-racist party.”

“I can no longer advocate voting Labour when it risks Corbyn becoming PM,” she added.

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Ellman joined several other Jewish members and MPs who have resigned over the antisemitism issue.

The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, said in a statement, “This is a damning indictment of Labour. Louise Ellman has been a devoted member of the party for over a half a century.”

“With yet another Jewish MP resigning from Labour over antisemitism, the party’s leadership needs to look no further than the mirror to see the ugly truth about the spread of this prejudice,” she said.

Internal advocacy group Labour Against Antisemitism also commented, with spokesperson Euan Philipps saying, “Labour Against Antisemitism stand in full solidarity with Dame Louise Ellman MP.”

“Her brave and principled decision to leave the Labour Party is based on her belief that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to serve as Prime Minister, a conviction we share,” he added.

Philipps concluded, “We hope that her former colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party will find the moral courage to join her in taking similarly demonstrative action.”

Ellman’s resignation following an effort to force her from office via a local party branch vote of no confidence. The effort to oust her erupted into controversy when a no-confidence motion was scheduled to be debated on Yom Kippur Eve.

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