A former Labour National Executive Committee member who dismissed antisemitic behaviour in the party has been selected as an MEP candidate ahead of the European Parliament elections.
Martin Mayer is an active member of a group called ‘Labour Against the Witch Hunt’ which calls on members to reject the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance’s definition of antisemitism and seeks to end the alleged “false anti-Semitism smear” against members of the party.
Mayer had said in a 2016 email, “Labour’s Blairite Right wing have used the smear of anti-Semitism to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership,” according to The Telegraph.
The newspaper described how Mr Mayer’s colleagues had heard “fascinating stories from his time on the Labour Party NEC and the many ‘bogus’ claims of anti-Semitism he witnessed first hand”.
Mr Mayer’s selection controversy comes amid a slew of antisemitic allegations against the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn.
A recent poll for ComRes commissioned by Jewish News found that 51 per cent of Britons think Labour has a serious antisemitism problem, with 55 per cent believing that his failure to tackle antisemitism makes him unfit to be prime minister.
Half of Britons Think Labour Has a Serious Antisemitism Problem https://t.co/ghhChO1Ztl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 19, 2019
Labour’s reputation amongst British Jews is even worse however, with the Jewish Labour Movement group recently passing a motion of no-confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
This followed another defection by a Labour MP who accused the party of antisemitism in his resignation letter. Ian Austin MP wrote, “The hard truth is that the party is tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites.”
The selection of Mr Mayer as an MEP candidate ahead of the European Parliament elections on May 23rd seems to be the latest indication that Labour does not take antisemitism claims seriously, with one Labour branch secretary saying there was too much focus on “antisemitism this, antisemitism that”. His comments came at a local party meeting in which a proposition was made to condemn the massacre of Jewish worshippers in a Pennsylvania synagogue.