POLITICS
02/08/2018 11:29 BST | Updated 03/08/2018 12:33 BST

Margaret Hodge Vows To Fight 'Tooth And Nail' Against Anti-Semitism In Labour

The party has been hit by a barrage of racism allegations.

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Margaret Hodge has said she will fight “tooth and nail” against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

The veteran MP Jewish is facing disciplinary action after she confronted Jeremy Corbyn in parliament and accused him of being a racist and an anti-Semite.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour on Thursday, Hodge said three weeks on she still had “no idea” what the specific allegations were against her or what the procedure was.

Labour has been tipped into crisis this week following a barrage of allegations of anti-Semitism.

Corbyn has apologised for sharing a platform with people who reportedly compared Israel to the Nazis. Labour has also denied Corbyn himself compared the actions of Israelis to those of the Nazis in a 2010 speech.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Hodge said: “All of us feel our identity and our values are being challenged by this sudden surge in anti-Semitism, which is not only allowed by the leadership, but I’ve now come to the conclusion that may also be views held by the leadership themselves.

“The row in itself does demonstrate rather graphically why I’ve never felt he [Corbyn] is the best person to be the leader of the Labour Party, but he is,” she said.

“I’ve given my life to the Labour Party,” Hodge added. “I’m going to fight tooth and nail to bring it back to the values that brought me into it some 55 years ago.

“This was the natural home for people who wanted to fight oppression and racism, that’s why I joined it.”

Hodge also criticised Corbyn and the party for having failed to conclude investigations into other allegations of anti-Semitism by the end of July as promised.

A Labour spokesperson said: “All complaints received by the party are investigated in line with our rules and procedures.

“The party follows a clear and fair process when we receive complaints. People are made aware of the nature of the complaint and are kept informed about the process, and that is the case in all instances.”

The spokesperson also said the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) “recently approved wide-ranging reforms to strengthen and speed up procedures for dealing with complaints of antisemitism. These changes are making our processes more robust, efficient and fair, ensuring cases are dealt with quickly”.

In April, Marc Wadsworth was expelled from the party after heckling a Jewish MP. Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor who was accused of anti-Semitic comments, has also left Labour.

Last night Momentum, the Corbyn-supporting campaign group, withdrew its support for a member seeking re-election to the NEC following his “deeply insensitive” comments about Jews.

The Jewish Labour Movement has also written to the party to demand the whip be taken away from MP Chris Williamson for his “deliberate, offensive and ongoing behaviour”.