Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) member Peter Willsman was at the centre of controversy after a recording of his comments during an NEC meeting was leaked to the media.
The comments were presented as antisemitic, but a proper examination of what was actually said, rather than the framing by media and ‘centrist’ MPs, showed that while crass they were not racist.
Such facts appear not to have troubled some, however – as Willsman has today received a death threat as a recorded message on his voicemail, saying:
You racist c**t. We know where you are. We’re coming to get you and spread your blood all over the pavement.
It’s to be hoped that this is a sick attempt to frighten, but the incident lays out very clearly the risks involved when one faction targets an opponent for political gain. Willsman’s removal from the NEC, or damage to his prospects in the current NEC elections, would be a huge win for the Labour right, which is desperately scrabbling for an NEC place to try to block Jeremy Corbyn’s democracy review.
And with the murder of Jo Cox still fresh in the memory and a right-wing thug recently jailed for attacking a mosque, killing one worshipper and planning to kill Labour’s leader, the fact that such risks are all too real is inescapable – and the recklessness of the cynical targeting all the more culpable.
Mr Willsman has been advised to involve the police.
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