Jewish Labour MP Who Called Jeremy Corbyn an Antisemite Faces Ousting

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge speaks during the 'Jewish Labour Movement Conference' on September 2, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty

Outspoken veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said she is “disappointed” to be facing a party reselection contest in her east London constituency.

Dame Margaret, who is Jewish, has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the hard-left party’s response to complaints of antisemitism, as Breitbart News has reported.

In a statement issued to the Huffington Post, Dame Margaret said she was “obviously disappointed” she will have to run in a local primary to keep her seat after losing a key party vote Saturday,  but her priority remained “serving the people of Barking as I have done for the last 25 years”.

“At a vital time for the country, with a general election looming, we should be focusing our efforts on holding Boris Johnson and the Tories to account,” she said.

“I will work to secure the full backing of Barking Labour Party, so I can continue to play my part as their MP in doing that.”

Last year Hodge accused the party’s leadership of having a “hatred of Jews” in a damning attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

She also called her hard left party leader “an antisemitic racist,” warning people at the top of the party took more time being fixated on internal power struggles than addressing major issues like Brexit.

She told the Sunday Times: “We should be concentrating on Europe, but they [the Labour leadership] don’t give a toss; all they can think about is their internal Labour Party and their hatred of Jews.

She added: “That’s what it felt like to me. It felt much more hatred of Jews than any justice for Palestine.”

Mike Katz, chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement, told the BBC  the trigger ballot vote was a “shameful moment for a party which claims to embody the values of equality and diversity”.

“Margaret Hodge has been a steadfast campaigner against racism, fascism and intolerance throughout her political life,” he said.

Last year almost 40 per cent of British Jews said they would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll.

The Jewish Chronicle published the finding along with the revelation British Jews between 35-54 are most concerned about the prospect of a Labour government under Mr Corbyn. Around half of that cohort said emigration is a serious future consideration.

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