UK Labour Party Councillor Who Referred to ‘Jew Process’ Facing Expulsion
In another development in the UK Labour party leadership’s current struggle to purge antisemitism from the party, a Labour councillor who made controversial statements is facing possible expulsion.
Jo Bird was warned she might be expelled from the party due to her participation in events held by the far-left group Labour Against the Witchhunt, which is working to prevent members from being expelled over charges of antisemitism.
The group is mostly composed of supporters of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, under whose tenure, many claimed, the party became institutionally antisemitic.
Corbyn resigned as leader after Labour’s crushing defeat in the 2019 elections and was replaced by Keir Starmer, who has made cleansing the party of antisemitism a top priority.
Jewish News reported Sunday that Bird has called the anti-antisemitism process in Labour a “Jew process” and warned that a focus on prejudice against Jews could harm other groups.
“One thing that worries me is the privileging of racism against Jews as more worthy of resources than other forms of discrimination such as against black people, Muslim people and people who have crossed borders to this country,” she said.
She has also appeared to compare herself and similar activists to the victims of the Holocaust, rewriting a famous poem about Nazi persecution to say, “They came for the anti-zionists, and I stood up because I was not a target, I stood up in solidarity. And then they came for the socialists but they couldn’t get us because we were having a party, the Labour Party.”
Bird later apologized over her characterization of the party’s inquiry process, saying, “I am sorry for any offense caused by my play on words. That was not my intention.”
The councillor refers to herself on Twitter as a “Jewess” and has said her grandfather “never knew his cousins because they perished in the Holocaust.”
Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include Jo Bird’s apology and to correct details about her possible exclusion from Labour