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August 15, 2021 1:06 pm
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UK Filmmaker Ken Loach, Staunch Supporter of Former Labour Leader Corbyn, Expelled From Party

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

British filmmaker Ken Loach. Photo: European Union 2016 – European Parliament

Famed leftist filmmaker Ken Loach, a staunch opponent of efforts to combat antisemitism in the UK Labour party, has been expelled from party ranks, a move supported by a top UK Jewish group.

The Guardian reported Saturday that Loach himself announced the expulsion, stating, “Labour HQ finally decided I’m not fit to be a member of their party, as I will not disown those already expelled.”

“Well … I am proud to stand with the good friends and comrades victimized by the purge,” he said. “There is indeed a witch-hunt.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews disagreed, with President Marie van der Zyl saying Loach’s expulsion was “absolutely the correct decision. Over the last few years, he has tarnished his legacy as a filmmaker by repeatedly standing with antisemites.”

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Loach, whose films are noted for their ferociously left-wing bent, was a major supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and passionately defended Corbyn against accusations of antisemitism and claims that the party had become systemically antisemitic under his leadership.

After several Labour MPs attended a demonstration against antisemitism, Loach said they should be expelled from the party, and referred to reports of antisemitism in Labour as “exaggerated or false.”

The expulsion of Loach appears to be part of current Labour leader Keir Starmer’s attempt to cleanse the party of antisemitism, something he pledged to do after he took over from Corbyn, who led Labour to a landslide defeat in the 2019 elections.

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, also a staunch Corbynite, called Loach a “fine socialist” and his expulsion “a disgrace.”

“I send my solidarity to my friend and comrade,” he added.

Corbyn himself was suspended from Labour last year for claiming accusations of antisemitism against Labour were the result of a conspiracy, though he was eventually reinstated.

However, Starmer has refused to “restore the whip” to Corbyn, meaning he is not officially considered part of Labour’s parliamentary representation.

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