‘Eradicating’ antisemitism from Labour seems to be a selective matter – as does praise for ‘zero tolerance’. Party’s excuse for let-off falls apart instantly
Keir Starmer has told front-bench Labour MP Steve Reed that no action will be taken against him over complaints about a tweet by Reed describing Richard Desmond, who is Jewish, as ‘the puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet’ – which Reed published only days after separate complaints about Reed’s ‘Israeli billionaire’ tweet.
Starmer squirmed when asked about the Desmond tweet and claimed not to have seen it – and said he would ‘have a look at it’ after the interview:
Starmer also received an official letter of complaint from Conservative MP Nicola Richards.
However, Reed has now been informed that no action will be taken against him.
Labour has claimed that no action was taken, at least in part, because Reed deleted his tweet before the party was aware of the complaint. However, this is untrue:
Reed has also deleted another tweet – in which he had praised Starmer’s ‘clear commitment to zero tolerance’ of antisemitism:
Within the space of not even a fortnight, Steve Reed has put out two tweets that – stretching generosity to its limit – were astonishingly ill-advised, yet Starmer has taken no action in spite of his clear discomfort when confronted about the matter, while sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey on a pretext after she issued statements agreed with Starmer about sharing an innocuous Independent article.
It seems ‘zero tolerance’ and ‘eradicating antisemitism’ from Labour is a movable feast, depending on who is involved.
Starmer and Reed were contacted for comment after Reed’s ‘Israeli billionaire’ tweet, but did not respond.
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