Excl, extraordinary – LFI ‘throws supporter MP under bus’ in ‘damage-limitation’

Tulip Siddiq (source: parliament.uk)

As the SKWAWKBOX reported earlier, a news site revealed that Labour MP Tulip Siddiq told a constituent by email that she had not ‘signed up’ as a Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) supporter and was going to query with the organisation the fact that she was listed in its parliamentary supporters’ section.

The background

Labour MPs are under pressure to sever ties with the organisation after its astonishingly crass, ‘victim-blaming’ statement in the wake of the massacre of around sixty unarmed protestors in Gaza – including eight children – and the wounding or maiming of thousands of others.

In a sign of the intensity of the pressure created by the public backlash LFI deleted its statement, while a director and its chair wrote articles to try to soften and justify its decision to blame Palestinians for Palestinian deaths caused by bullets fired from Israeli weapons.

Ms Siddiq’s London colleague Catherine West MP had already announced that she was suspending her membership of LFI because of its response to the massacre and Ms Siddiq’s response to her constituent suggested she was also keen to distance herself from the group.

The enquiry and response

The SKWAWKBOX wrote to LFI with details of Ms Siddiq’s email, asking it to confirm:

  • whether Ms Siddiq proactively joined your organisation
  • whether any other MPs have ever been registered as LFI members/supporters without their explicit consent and if so, how many
  • what the normal procedure is for an MP to be approached to join, or to proactively sign up for, membership/supporter status

The response when it came was remarkable, to say the least:

lfi response

We advised LFI that the earlier story stands, as it accurately reports the media claims about Ms Siddiq’s response to her constituent.

The attached screenshot was of an email sent to LFI by a Tulip Siddiq staffer. The obscured areas in red were redacted by the SKWAWKBOX and were unobscured in the original:

lfi screenshot 1


Dated 6 Feb last year, the email states:

Hi Jen

I’m in India from tomorrow I’m afraid, so won’t be around for a catch up this week. Have just spoken with Tulip and she’s fine to have her name added as a supporter.

Hopefully see you when I‘m back!

This shows that a staffer confirmed on Ms Siddiq’s behalf that she was happy to be listed – but that’s not the extraordinary aspect.

What is extraordinary is that LFI was immediately prepared to disclose an email sent by – or on behalf of – a supportive MP – to prove that she had even agreed to be named on its website.

The fall-out

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Tulip Siddiq with a copy of LFI’s response and a request for comment. Ms Siddiq said:

I have never been a member of LFI. I have been listed as a parliamentary supporter in the past and have been supportive of their work to promote a two state solution in the region. However, in light of recent events, I’ve asked LFI to remove my name as a supporter.

A second MP has now moved to publicly distance herself from LFI.

But that may be far from the only consequence. A Labour insider previously unwilling to criticise the organisation told the SKWAWKBOX this evening:

That response from LFI is astonishing. They’ve just thrown an MP who has previously supported them under a bus for damage-limitation. What kind of message does it send to other supporters?

A number of other Labour insiders, including MPs’ staff, made similar comments.

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  1. The LFI and the Israeli State have something in common – The end justifies the means ?

  2. Brilliant! We need to keep the pressure up. I’ve tweeted Emily re your last story – & been sent a speech where she honestly seems to support the regime – I’m still in shock about her membership and following justification.

  3. “That response from LFI is astonishing. They’ve just thrown an MP who has previously supported them under a bus for damage-limitation. What kind of message does it send to other supporters?”

    Wakey wakey PLP…? We will see.

    I must say, you are doing a grand job on this important issue Skwawkbox.

  4. I have just re-watched the four episodes of Al Jazeera’s ‘The Lobby’ and I recommend so doing. A lot more pieces of the jigsaw fell into place. I was seriously shocked by the footage of Joan Ryan’s conversation with a conference delegate who she subsequently reported for anti-semitism (Joan Ryan is LFI chair). Not only could one see how inadequate her responses, her rudeness and her misremembering of the conversation … but the glee at having ‘an anti-semitic’ comment to report.

    Furthermore, Jasmin Beckett (standing again for the NEC) was mentioned and her erstwhile friends associated with the controversy surrounding her elections as the Youth Delegate.

    Needless to say, all complaints about Joan Ryan and others mentioned in the programme were dismissed by Iain McNicol and the compliance unit.


  5. These people are an embarrassment its excellent statements like Emily Thornberry’s that they want to silence with there agenda, they do not belong in the party, They are an embarrassment to decent Labour members. get them out. They have had a dishonest agenda for a long time now.

  6. We must not let this matter die. We need to hear from Thornberry and the rest of them just exactly what they thought they were playing at. It is preposterous to pretend that they actually believe that they can influence Israel by belonging to its propaganda arm. They cannot be that stupid.

    1. “It is preposterous to pretend that they actually believe that they can influence Israel by belonging to its propaganda arm.”


      Why I’ve washed my hands of the whole matter. As I’ve said BOTH sides are blinded by their sheer hatred of each other to concern themselves with someone who isn’t gonna make any difference to that fact..

      This is ample proof that anyone involving themselves on EITHER side is more or less consenting to being a pawn in THEIR game. And pawns, as demonstrated, are all too disposable.

  7. We should not forget that the right wing PLP supporters of the LFI are the very same people who have been sabotaging the Labour Party for the last two years.

    Because of their sabotage Labour lost the General Election.

    We would now have a Labour Government if it were not for the Labour MP supporters of the LFI.

      1. If that happens then it proves nothing’s changed, despite Corbyn & McDonnell’s deliberations. McNicol ought to be jailed, never mind ennobled.

        On a side note, I hope the large muslim community of Toxteth (L’pool Riverside) are aware of ellman’s LFI zealotry…

      2. At the moment McNicol is a has-been with no platform. It would be utter madness to give him a lifelong platform in the House of Lords to facilitate him continuing to undermine the Labour Party, its leadership and the membership

      3. The Toffee – It has happened

        Labour was granted three nominations, and Jeremy Corbyn put forward the former party general secretary Iain McNicol and the race equality campaigner Martha Osamor, the mother of the MP Kate Osamor, as had been expected. The third nominee is Pauline Bryan, a Scottish campaigner and editor of What Would Keir Hardie Say?, a collection of essays once given by Corbyn to Barack Obama.

  8. There is a more detailed coverage of this here.

    “LFI provided a screenshot of a 2017 email from one of Siddiq’s staffers saying that they had “just spoken with Tulip and she’s fine to have her name added as a supporter.” Siddiq responded in a comment to the news site that “in light of recent events, I’ve asked LFI to remove my name as a supporter.”
    The email was redacted by The Skwawkbox, but The Electronic Intifada understands it was sent by Jay Stoll, Siddiq’s senior assistant and a former officer for anti-Palestinian lobby group, the Jewish Leadership Council.”

    1. From the comments section on that link..

      Tulip Siddiq is a liar
      Tony Greenstein replied on Fri, 05/18/2018 – 02:39

      Tulip Siddiq is a liar and a supporter of repression and corruption in Bangladesh

      She is a fully signed up Zionist who is too cowardly to defend their present position – don’t be fooled

  9. I am no fan of Tulip Siddiq but given the somewhat complex relationship between the states of Israel and Bangladesh I find it hard to believe that she is an enthusiastic supporter of the Israeli State https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh%E2%80%93Israel_relations#Allegation_of_Mossad_connection

    In the interest of fair play I was simply pointing out that the employment history of her assistant may inject an element of doubt regarding Tulip’s culpability.

    1. And I was just highlighting the comment. 🙂

      Personally, I couldn’t give a flying one about siddiq or the LFI. I openly dislike both, and some of the names on their list leave me quite disappointed and disillusioned…whether the’re on it knowingly or not. (And I haven’t seen anyone else distance themselves)

      The rest are only who I’d expect to see on there.

  10. I think if we analyse how some careerists build their careers some may court trade unions close to their perspective (or pretend to agree), join the Cooperative Party, join Labour Friends of Israel and perhaps Labour Friends of Palestine (to edge their bets) but essentially they try to build a block of support as bourgeois politicians, climbing the greasy pole, wheeling and dealing, you support me on this and I will support you on that CRAP what the early Marxists described as “Parliamentary Cretinism.”
    But I think we should be Left Wing Democratic Socialists who say and stand for what we believe in and are essentially HONEST.
    And we shouldn’t be afraid to challenge dominant thinking even on the Left even if you are in a minority.
    True friends don’t tell you what you want to hear – like Labour Friends of Israel in this case, they tell you what you NEED to hear which is why whilst supporting Palestinians (from personal experience) I warned about HAMAS. I was criticised on here by rigid socialists but then came the brilliant CBS interview by Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer, Naura Eskaret, the best analysis on this issue I have ever heard and Naura gave Palestinians and the World hope!
    Lessons to learn indeed, stand for and say what you believe in and be honest, as Rosa Luxemburg argued: the best thing that we can all bring to the table is our independent critical socialist thinking.

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