POLITICS
25/04/2018 17:55 BST | Updated 26/04/2018 10:13 BST

Treat Anti-Semites Like The Extreme Left-Wing Group Militant, Says Labour's Former Complaints Chief

Mike Creighton also criticised Corbyn's head of communications, Seumas Milne.

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Jewish Labour members protesting against anti-Semitism in Parliament Square

Labour members found guilty of anti-Semitism should be treated like the extreme left-wing entryist group Militant and thrown out of the party, its former complaints chief has said. 

In an explosive blog shared with HuffPost UK, Mike Creighton, who stood down as director of audit and risk management last year, accused Jeremy Corbyn of taking a “whack-a-mole” approach to individual incidents of anti-Semitism.

Creighton also attacked Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s communications director, accusing him of being “only concerned with bad publicity” rather than addressing the root cause of the problem. 

However, sources close to Corbyn said the picture painted by the “disgruntled” ex-senior staffer was inaccurate, and that the party leadership was committed to tackling the issue.

Creighton, who ran the party’s compliance unit which deals with complaints, said speeches in the 1980s by the former party leader, Neil Kinnock, prompted high-profile expulsions and swift action by the ruling National Executive Committee, gave members of Militant attempting to infiltrate Labour “no hiding place”.

“When the cancer of Militant Tendency was removed from the Labour Party, months and months were not wasted on process,” he wrote in a post published on Wednesday. “A battalion of lawyers was not put in place. No General Counsel had to be hired before action could be taken.”

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Seumas Milne and Jeremy Corbyn

He added that while “anti-Semites are not a political party”, they should face the same hostile environment within the party. Labour has become a “safe haven for the weird and the wacky, and, worse, for the racist bullies who believe it is OK to level the vilest abuse at those who seek to speak out against this current cancer at the heart of Labour,” Creighton wrote. 

Creighton also claimed Milne, Corbyn’s senior communications chief, asked his advice in 2016 about how the party should deal with allegations of anti-Semitism.

“I gave some advice about how to deal with anti-Semitism, but that wasn’t what was required,” he said. “It was the symptoms he wanted treating, not the cause. And it’s still the symptoms, the bad publicity, that most concern him today.”

He said the power to deal with the problem lies in Corbyn’s hands, and urged him to take robust action against those peddling hatred on social media in his name, as well as to clamp down on elected members sharing platforms with anyone accused of wrongdoing. 

“I have news for you Jeremy. You are leader of the Labour Party. What you say will, 99 times out of a hundred, go,” he added.

“You may not be able to stop people using the hashtag #JC4PM alongside their antisemitic vitriol. But you could have a member of staff responding to each and every one, saying it is not acceptable and nor is their membership of the Labour Party.”

HuffPost UK
Ex-Labour complaints chief Mike Creighton

Sources close to the Labour leader claimed Creighton was “politically hostile” and said it was “laughable” to suggest the expulsion of Militant from the party had been straightforward. 

Corbyn has tasked the newly-appointed General Secretary of the party, Jennie Formby, with stamping out anti-Jewish sentiment within the party and expediting high-profile unresolved cases, including that of former London mayor Ken Livingstone. 

On Wednesday morning, more than 40 MPs escorted their colleague, Ruth Smeeth, into a hearing which will determine whether activist Marc Wadsworth will be permanently excluded from the party after he was suspended over a verbal anti-Semitic attack on Smeeth nearly two years ago.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Mike Creighton is a disgruntled former staffer who has painted an entirely misleading picture of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s approach to tackling anti-Semitism.

“His claims of bad faith on the part of Jeremy’s team and his office blocking actions are false, as immediate steps taken by the new General Secretary demonstrates.”