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Joan Ryan: Now she has gone, the Parliamentary Labour Party will be a much more honest place.

The (now-former) chair of Labour Friends of Israel has quit the party to join the new ‘Independent Group’ of MPs, with a lie – which is typical of her behaviour.

Joan Ryan had already lost a vote of “no confidence” in her Enfield North Constituency Labour Party after she was caught in a lie that a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was anti-Semitic.

She had faked an accusation of anti-Semitism against a Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter called Jean Fitzpatrick. Speaking to an undercover reporter who she thought was a pro-Israel activist, she claimed the PSC activist had said Labour Friends of Israel was a route to getting a job at a bank in the City.

“You heard her say … ‘join you lot and you get into Oxford’ or ‘you get into working in the bank,’” Ms Ryan lied in the resulting documentary, The Lobby. The film shows that Jean Fitzpatrick had said no such thing, but Ms Ryan reported the campaigner to the party’s disciplinary system.

Ms Fitzpatrick, 71, provided a statement to local members on what really happened, attached as an appendix to the motion. She stated that “the strain of the whole case took its toll on me psychologically and emotionally… It would be true to say that it is only in the last year I have begun to recover my health and equilibrium”.

Ms Ryan has been one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most bitter opponents since he was elected leader of the Labour Party, and the motion cited this long-running campaign as its basis, stating that she had written and contributed to many articles in a “press unjustly hostile to Jeremy Corbyn. By doing so our MP has smeared his character.” A constant theme had been baseless allegations of anti-Semitism against the party under Mr Corbyn.

And Enfield North constituency party members were angry that Ms Ryan’s 2017 general election campaign was “all but abandoning Labour and sought to publicize herself as an independent in all but name.”

At the time, Ms Ryan sent out letters claiming that “many” local people had told her “they have more confidence in Theresa May as prime minister than they would have in Jeremy Corbyn.” Despite “your misgivings about the Labour leadership,” she wrote, “I hope that you will consider voting for me as your local MP.”

She lost the the confidence vote despite attempts to bully members by her supporters, who shouted that those who didn’t vote for her were anti-Semites.

You can see that Ms Ryan has a track record of dishonesty.

She left Labour in the manner that characterised her membership of the party – with a lie.

In her resignation letter, she stated: “The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism. This problem simply did not exist in the party before his election as leader. No previous Labour leader would have allowed this huge shame to befall the party.”

Oh really? Then why was such a fuss made about anti-Semitism after Ed Miliband recognised Palestine’s statehood, to quote examples featuring the immediately-previous Labour leader?

“Cremant Communarde”, on Twitter, wrote a thread about this, going into the history of claims against Labour – starting before Mr Corbyn became leader, that is worth quoting here:

If anti-Semitism wasn’t an issue under Ed Miliband, what were all these people – and you’ll notice they’re the usual suspects – making such a fuss about?

The fact is that anti-Semitism in Labour has reduced under Mr Corbyn’s leadership – but that doesn’t suit Ms Ryan’s narrative so she has denied it with a tissue of falsehoods.

With that record of dishonesty, the rest of Ms Ryan’s claims about anti-Semitic sentiment in the Labour Party aren’t worth a fig. You can read them here if you can stomach the lies.

If you haven’t got the gist yet, let me make it clear: Joan Ryan is a liar. She has made one dishonest claim after another in an increasingly desperate series of attempts to discredit Mr Corbyn.

Now she has joined the “Independent Group” of former Labour MPs who have split from the party, fully half of that organisation have lost votes of “no confidence” in their constituencies.

I have already written about the way that organisation is based on lies and broken promises – so she should be very much at home there.

As is the case with so many of the others, the Labour Party is better for Joan Ryan’s departure.

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