Over 30 leading Jewish members of the Labour Party have written to the Party’s National Constitutional Committee arguing that “we believe it would be a travesty if the Labour Party were to find Ken Livingstone guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Party.”
They argue that “as Jews, we are appalled that such a serious issue as antisemitism is being used in this cynical and manipulative way,” adding that “It is harmful to Jewish people that false charges of antisemitism are so casually thrown around.”
They conclude that “We would urge the Party not to make such a damaging mistake.”
Commenting, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, a Jewish Labour Party member and witness for Ken Livingstone at the hearing, said:
“Ken Livingstone is being pilloried because he is a prominent figure on the left of the Labour Party who has actively defended it from attacks based on false allegations of anti-Semitism. As a Jewish person who supports Palestinian human rights, I reject the notion that criticism of Israel and Zionism is necessarily anti-Semitic. Those who allege anti-Semitism against Ken Livingstone discredit the term. His track record in public office is a clear testament to his commitment to supporting the Jewish community and fighting racism in all its forms, including anti-Semitism.”
Ken Livingstone added,
“I’d like to thank all the Jewish Party members who have signed this letter in my support – the reality is that I am being attacked by the right-wing of the Labour Party because I support Palestinian human rights and strongly back our Leader Jeremy Corbyn.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The full letter and list of signatories can be read at http://www.writeyou.co.uk/letter_from_jewish_members
2. Ken Livingstone is currently appearing before the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) to answer the charge that he engaged in conduct ‘grossly detrimental’ to the Party when he publicly defended the Labour Party against charges of anti-Semitism in 2016.
3. Defending Ken Livingstone at the hearing is the barrister Michael Mansfield QC.
Ken Livingstone’s solicitor is Imran Khan, well known for representing the family of Stephen Lawrence.
Five Jewish members of the Labour Party are appearing before the Labour Party NCC hearing to defend Ken Livingstone.
4. Please send any media enquiries to this email address – firstname.lastname@example.org