POLITICS
23/07/2018 10:35 BST | Updated 23/07/2018 16:06 BST

Margaret Hodge Stands By Accusing Jeremy Corbyn Of Anti-Semitism

Lawyers accuse party of 'veiled attempt to silence' MP.

Ian Gavan via Getty Images

Margaret Hodge has said she still believes Jeremy Corbyn to be “an anti-Semite and racist”.

The veteran Jewish Labour MP is facing disciplinary action after she confronted Corbyn in parliament last week. “I stand by those remarks,” she told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Monday.

“I have always in the past disagreed with the people who have called him an anti-Semite but, at the end of the day, people have to be judged on what they do and not what they say,” she said.

“I think what has happened over the last months – from failure to respond to anti-Semitism against Labour Party members, from failure to respond to the massive demonstration, unique demonstration by the Jewish community, culminating in the failure to adopt in full the universally used definition of anti-Semitism is just a bridge too far.”

Corbyn said on Sunday he felt “upset” and “not pleased” with the confrontation with Hodge, which was revealed by HuffPost UK.

“A complaint has been registered and that will have to be dealt with by the party, but that is independent of me,” he said.

It comes as lawyers acting for Hodge questioned the “fairness and legitimacy” of the Labour investigation into the MP and said the party had failed to set out what she is accused of.

They suggested threats to suspend Hodge were a “veiled attempt to silence” her.

In a letter to Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, the law firm Mishcon de Reya said, given the party had failed to explain the allegation against her or the rule that it has breached, “your threat to suspend our client if she repeats this non-particularised conduct appears to be a veiled attempt to silence her”.

It adds: “Again, it is a fundamental breach of natural justice and principles of fairness. You have left our client in the bizarre position whereby possible suspension is hanging over her for future unspecified behaviour.”

Corbyn faces a major showdown over his policy on anti-Semitism later today.

This evening’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) is set to debate an emergency call to toughen up rules against projecting prejudice, despite a call from Corbyn to delay the debate until the autumn.

After complaints that a new code of conduct did not go far enough, the meeting will consider adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.