Streeting ‘shouts in Abbott’s face’, arranges march against ‘Windrush child’

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MP Wes Streeting, Diane Abbott and Marc Wadsworth

Centrist MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting’s week has resulted in him being accused of having ‘questions to answer‘ about a ‘worrying pattern of behaviour‘.

Streeting has clashed twice with Labour front-bencher Diane Abbott – and has sent an email inviting colleagues and others to join him next week in a show of strength against a black Labour activist and ‘Windrush child’.

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Diane Abbott

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has suffered the most vile abuse – receiving almost half of all abuse received by female MPs in the run-up to the General Election. She has spoken movingly of the terrible hate-messages she receives on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, she had just spoken in a parliamentary debate – about personal abuse she has received, the seriousness with which Labour treats the issue of antisemitism and the measures the party is taking to combat it. Ms Abbott also made a number of points that the Haredi Jewish community had asked her to raise – and for which the community praised her later.

As Home Secretary Amber Rudd began to respond, Streeting made an intervention – to side against his own party – and against Abbott’s representations on behalf of the Jewish community in her constituency.

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Mr Streeting wasn’t finished. In a parliamentary corridor, Streeting is alleged to have literally shouted in Ms Abbott’s face, standing toe to toe with her and screaming ‘not my party!’, in front of a number of onlookers.

Witnesses described Streeting’s behaviour as so intimidating that he had to be physically steered away from the Labour front-bencher.

Marc Wadsworth

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Marc Wadsworth, left, introducing Stephen Lawrence’s family to Nelson Mandela

Marc Wadsworth is a veteran black Labour activist. He featured in the BBC’s documentary about Stephen Lawrence, “Stephen, the murder that changed a nation” this week, when he was seen introducing Stephen’s mother Doreen to the late South African president Nelson Mandela.

Wadsworth was suspended by the party last year after challenging Labour MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti report, who then walked out of the meeting.

Ms Smeeth quoted Wadsworth as accusing her of a ‘media conspiracy‘, a well-known antisemitic trope, but video evidence showed that Wadsworth had not said that.

His exact words were:

I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African, Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order, don’t we?

Wadsworth’s complaint was about the lack of representation for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people – an issue he continues to fight for in spite of his suspension, as he was instrumental in the recent launch of the Grassroots Black Left group.

Wadsworth was initially summarily expelled from the Labour Party but reinstated and suspended after his lawyers wrote to Labour’s compliance unit pointing out that it had acted unlawfully and not in accordance with the party’s rules.

Neither the expulsion letter nor the suspension notification mentioned allegations of antisemitism – that charge was added over six months later, in January 2017.

Since then, he has remained suspended – in spite of a public letter of support printed in the Guardian from twelve prominent supporters including black and Jewish activists – and Wadsworth has felt so severely attacked that he felt compelled to crowdfund to have full legal representation at his disciplinary hearing next week.

In the same week as his issues with Diane Abbott, Wes Streeting sent the following message to parliamentary colleagues:

Apologies for the impersonal message, but I wonder if I can enlist you to provide some practical moral support for our friend and colleague Ruth Smeeth next Wednesday morning (25th April)?

She is giving evidence against Mark Wadsworth – the guy who abused her at the antisemitism inquiry launch – and we expect there to be a protest outside against her.

To give Ruth some moral support and solidarity, I am assembling a group of Labour MPs and Peers in Westminster Hall at 940am. We will then walk with Ruth to Church House nearby. We won’t be allowed in with her, but I can’t tell you how much a strong turnout will mean to her – and how much better it would be if we outnumber the protesters.

So, if you can make it let me know by email or text.

Wednesday 25th April
940am
Westminster Hall

Thanks for your support,

Wes Streeting

Readers will judge for themselves whether the video above of Wadsworth’s challenge to Ms Smeeth constitutes ‘abuse’.

But while it is clear that no abuse of Ms Smeeth en route to the hearing can be condoned, Streeting’s email also represents an attempt to counter demonstrations in support of a suspended black activist’s attempt to clear his name of allegations he insists are unfounded.

Wadsworth told the SKWAWKBOX:

It’s ironic that in this week of media attention on the Tories’ abuse of the Windrush generation, I find Wes trying to organise a parliamentary protest against me, in spite of the evidence.

My dad came to this country from Jamaica at his own expense during World War Two to join the RAF to fight against the nazis. He went back in 1946 but then came back to the UK on the Windrush in 1948 – I’m a Windrush child.

Given his two or three tweets this week condemning the government’s treatment of the Windrush generation, I’d have hoped Wes would be supporting a Windrush descendant who’s fighting for the representation of black and Asian people in the Labour Party, but it seems that’s not going to happen.

Taken together with his clashes with Diane Abbott this week, it represents a worrying pattern of behaviour and Wes has questions to answer.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Mr Streeting for comment. At the time of publication, he had not responded.

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24 responses to “Streeting ‘shouts in Abbott’s face’, arranges march against ‘Windrush child’

  1. it seems to me that Ruth Smeeth completely misunderstood what Mark was trying to say. I hate the tweets that Ruth has been sent, they are vile utterly utterly vile, however, these tweets are said to be from Corbyn supporters but how do we know this is true and not just people pretending to be his supporters in order to cause trouble within the Labour party?
    Wes Streeting should have the whip removed until an investigation into his personal and almost physical attacks on Diane Abbott has been fully investigated.

  2. He’s a disgrace. Racism is against all the principles of the Labour Party – he should be sacked.

  3. You could also look at his abuse of Malia Bouattia when she became NUS president.

  4. Mr Streeting seems to have a prejudicial view of people based upon the colour of their skin.

    We should not be surprised by this, as Mr Streeting is a vociferous supporter of a state which a UN report identified as having apartheid policies. This means Wes Streeting supports racism.

  5. “Mark Wadsworth – the guy who abused her at the antisemitism inquiry launch”

    Is THAT right, wesley? You best PRAY the hearing finds it so…Unless you know something we dont??

  6. Wes Streeting appears not to be concentrating on his constituents but more on internal politics, more intent therefore on what his position will do for him. What I saw from the video clip the gentleman was accusing Ruth Smeeth of working with the right wing media, he should have put in a complaint to the PLP instead of using the platform to get this point across. Any anti Semitic abuse to any Jewish person is wrong and should be called out. I don’t believe anti Semitism is more prevalent in the Labour party, rather that it is on the increase, as with other racial tensions, since the referendum. Anti Semitism and Racism in general has always been found to be aligned with right wing politics, not trying to point score just stating facts which can be checked.

  7. Actually according to graphs and figures I have seen recently anti-Semitism is DECREASING in the Labour Party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

    • They know it, Nicola. These are just smears.

      The regrettable thing is that the same graphs show the rise of anti-Semitism after the Brexit referendum, which we all know its (Brexit) advocates: Tory right-wingers and their UKIP soulmates. This is not mentioned at all in the MSM. That is the real anti-Semitism by the MSM that should be called out.

      And, like all the injustices and prejudices the Left has always fought against, it is once more going to fall on the shoulders of the Left to take on this MSM juggernaut and call out their anti-Semitism. Right now the MSM is cheering-on the Tories and just about anyone who is selling arms to the Saudi rulers and ridiculing anyone who is calling for restraint in such an arms trade. This is anti-Semitic in two ways:

      1. The Saudi rulers are the promoters of the most virulent form of Islamic fundamentalism – Wahabbism – the same doctrine espoused by groups like ISIS. They are ruling over an increasingly restless population, and their embrace of Wahabbism is to appease the clerics. The West is currently arming the Saudi rulers under the ‘mistaken’ belief that they (the Saudi rulers) are acting as a bulwark against Iran. They (Saudi rulers) are currently target-practicing in Yemen. Once they run out of targets in Yemen, with their recently acquired massive arms cache generously provided by the West, and an increasingly restless population, their next installment at appeasement will be targeting the bogeyman of the middle-east – State of Israel. Again, it will be the Left – personified by Jeremy Corbyn – who will call out such aggression against the people of Israel. It will be the Left – personified by Jeremy Corbyn – who will be calling for peace and actively working towards peace when the guns of the middle-eastern states are trained on the State of Israel. And it will be a responsibility the Left will take-on as it always has.

      2. To undermine, ridicule and smear one of the leaders of the Left that will actively stand against the inevitable injustice that is going to be directed against the State of Israel once the Saudi rulers have turned their arms (supplied by the West) against the State of Israel is to be complicit in the anti-Semitism of the worst kind that is going to follow such Saudi action. Corbyn’s opposition to some of the current policies of the State of Israel against the Palestinians should never be confused with anti-Semitism, and the MSM know this. He has always opposed violence by both sides and urged a return to the negotiating table. Yes, he has engaged – politely – with some of the most radical Palestinian/Arab groups purely in an effort to bring them to the negotiating table. And that politeness should never be mistaken for support.

      • Hello comrade. I enjoyed your post greatly and I find myself in almost total agreement with you. However, I feel that it is premature to predict the outcomes of the Yemen catastrophe. The peoples of Yemen have left many commentators drop jawed by the ferocity of their resistance. The odds of the valiant wahabis defeating the cowardly Houtis in a ground war are dropping. There are many possible outcomes possible, the galloping stetsons might engage in actual combat but their martial accomplishments have not proved to be as successful as the neocons, brit neocentrists and their international contractors have wished. We will soon see the ramifications that Syrian victory in Idlib will bring. The Turks determination to buy their defences of their own choosing will add to the confusion. I forsee years and years of more hopelessness but we need to look to Gaza to remember that at the heart of this situation, humanity, forbearance and honour will bring peace. The bear and the waterboarders will have to make comprises. Next trading post to be besieged by hostiles could be Venezuela. Aunty and her pals have begun to drool. Good health boxers.

  8. It must be almost impossible to deny Ruth Smeeth was working “hand in hand” with the telegraph considering @KateEMcCann ‏ live tweeted the entire incident INCLUDING Marc approaching them BEFORE press conference and having to ask for her name to write it down so he could remember it for later. Clearly he had never met her before didn’t know she was jewish all he knew was she was a right wing MP providing copy for the torygraph. @Rosa_Doherty of the jewish chronical filmed her and @kateEMcCann approaching him after the event trying to force him to apologise and incite him into saying something else. the video was later deleted as it showed them in a bad light, but not until after it was quoted in independent (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-antisemitism-jeremy-corbyn-ruth-smeeth-jewish-mp-accused-of-colluding-with-media-a7111061.html) I cannot find another copy of this video or any unedited footage of the press conference. I believe Kate McCann used the phrase “working hand in Hand” in her question and Marc was directly quoting her but I can’t find footage to prove it.

  9. “Media Conspiracy” is an antisemitic trope? Well I never! How do you describe what the media is doing, in league with Tories and Blairites then?

  10. Yes, Wes Streeting does show a “worrying pattern of behaviour”. Some might think this goes back at least as far as his student days when as student representative he attended a 2010 conference in Jerusalem to devise ways of combatting the international BDS campaign.

    And he has every right to his point of view and to pursue it as he sees fit. Anti-semitism must have no place in the Labour Party or anywhere else; but Arab and Jew are both semite and one must recognise there is anti-Arab anti-Semitism as well as anti-Jewish. I worry at those who are loudest in proclaiming their moral mission in hunting down anti-Jewish anti-semitism in every nook and cranny of the Labour Party; yet who also seem at the front and the loudest demanding the “absolute need” to bomb yet another Arab country in the predictable rolling sequence that extends into ultimate confrontation with Iran. The gentlemen (and women) do protest too much. I will take lessons on anti-semitism only from someone like Jeremy Corbyn who has shown practically and pubicly that he detests anti-semitism in both its forms.

  11. I rarely agree with anything that Streeting has to say. On this ocassion, however, I’m more than happy to agree with his statement that it’s not his party. You’re right, it’s our party. Your party sits on the benches opposite.

  12. There was no abuse from Marc towards Ruth. Wes Streeting is a loose cannon, who has lost the plot. Every time I see or read anything from him he is ranting and raving calling everything and anyone a ” disgusting disgrace!” Or something to that affect. He is an aggressive virtue signaller who cares nothing about facts. Nobody can do anything right or ever do enough in his mind. He twists things, he tweets things that are not fully informed/not true, I don’t know if he is too stupid or, lazy to find the truth or if he does this purposely. Here in this letter he lies about Marc. He obviously wanted to gather a possy of MPs and peers to make sure it was featured in the media. To hear these allegations against him about his treatment of Diane is worrying, it suggests he needs disciplinary action against him. He is constantly raging. Is he on roids or what? Lol. He needs to chill. And yes I do wonder where this outrage and protest was when Diane was receiving abuse, instead he is allegedly abusing her also.

    • Nice post Dan, I wonder how Nina Simone would’ve reacted to such behaviour.Ms Abbott is far too nice. Was there men around who could have defended her honour robustly? I don’t mean aggressively but vigorously. Mmm.. Regards comrades.

    • Just to not my above comment is in no way a defence of Wes Streeting and was intended to indicate how he has politicised antisemitism as a way to attack Corbyn.

  13. Surely shouting in someone’s face must show an intent to harm. My beloved niece is a good brief and I intent to find out whether these actions could be called a form of abuse. It is also very rude and impolite to ever raise one’s voice against a female colleague. It’s not nice and no matter what one’s friends in the media or opposing parties it is inexcusable. However, having seen now people are interviews my opinions are at best laser and irrelevant in these times. Best wishes

  14. That one side of the party has lost control and they know it.
    Richard Dennis

  15. Pingback: MP’s, other witnesses: Streeting’s ‘disgusting, disgraceful’ behaviour left Abbott ‘shell-shocked’ | The SKWAWKBOX·

  16. Pingback: MP’s, other witnesses: Streeting’s ‘disgusting, disgraceful’ behaviour left Abbott ‘shell-shocked’ | RedZine·

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