Far-right Labour MP Neil Coyle is (apparently) not being investigated for anti-Semitism – despite complaints from prominent Jewish members of the community.
The complaint arises from a tweet Coyle posted about the main organisation of left-wing Jews in the party, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL).
The Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP said JVL members were “outright Communists who have their own political party/ies they can ruin”.
Accusing Jews of Communism is a long-standing anti-Semitic trope, often paired with the phrase ‘Judaeo-Bolshevism’ or the far-right crypto-version ‘cultural Marxism’.
Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC, Oxford Professor Avi Shlaim and solicitor Harold Immanuel – all Jews – wrote to Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Their complaint, sent in July last year, accused Coyle of ‘outrageous hate speech’ and said it was a clear breach of Labour rules against comments that ‘might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion or belief’ meriting the ‘severest censure’: Expulsion from the Labour Party.
The only response was auto-acknowledgement and a promise that, if they were victims, investigators would maintain contact as the case progressed.
A request for an update in October was greeted merely with auto-acknowledgement.
Meanwhile Skwawkbox, reporting on the complaint, has demonstrated the apparent double-standard being operated by Labour:
Labour has or is conducting at least 46 investigations against left-wing Jews accused of antisemitism by the right for their defence of Palestinians and their comments on the conduct of Israel. It does not appear to be conducting even one against Neil Coyle – and according to the three complainants, Keir Starmer has completely ignored a request to do so, even though it came from one of the country’s leading lawyers whom he knows personally.
Labour’s activities against left-wing Jewish members are accelerating. While last year a JVL committee member was a staggering 224 times more likely to be targeted for investigation than a non-Jewish member, the latest data show that this has risen to almost 300 times.
This episode demonstrates that Starmer seems to share Boris Johnson’s apparent belief that rules for the general public (or, in this case, Labour Party members) don’t apply to him or his cronies.
It seems clear that he thinks it’s one rule for JVL members – and no rules at all for Neil Coyle.
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