The left-wing pressure group Momentum has voted to remove Jackie Walker as vice-chair of its most senior committee after complaints against her of anti-Semitism.
The Labour activist was unseated from her position on Momentum’s Steering Committee by a vote of seven to three. She remains a member of the committee itself and Momentum.
In a statement on Monday night, the group said Walker had been removed following complaints of anti-Semitism, pointing to comments she made on film at a Labour conference fringe event obtained by The Huffington Post UK.
“Jackie’s actions at Labour Conference, in her subsequent Channel 4 interview, and by not understanding concern caused by her statements, have led the Steering Committee to view her behaviour as irresponsible and lose confidence in her as Vice Chair,” the Momentum statement read.
“Having read reports of what Jackie Walker is alleged to have said, listened to the leaked video, and heard Jackie’s version of events, the Committee does not regard any of the comments she appears to have made, taken individually, to be antisemitic.
“However, the Committee does consider her remarks on Holocaust Memorial Day and on security of Jewish schools to be ill-informed, ill-judged and offensive.
“In such circumstances, the Committee feels that Jackie should have done more to explain herself to mitigate the upset caused and should have been careful about statements on this and related subjects, whatever her record as an anti-racist, which the Committee applauds.”
Walker had been heckled at a Labour conference event ‘Confronting anti-Semitism and engaging Jewish voters’ for criticising Holocaust Memorial Day for not including non-Jewish genocide victims.
Footage of her comments was passed to HuffPost UK. She was suspended from the Labour party several days later.
Momentum said of Walker’s ousting as vice-chair that it was “concerned” the film of her comments was “leaked”, saying it “undermines much needed political education”.
It also called for Walker to be allowed to remain a Labour member, saying: “On the basis of the evidence the Committee has seen, Jackie should not be expelled from the Labour Party.”
Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop questioned Momentum’s decision to rescind Walker’s senior position on the steering committee without removing her from the body entirely.