Right-wing Labour MP claims his lack of action over staffer’s antisemitic social media posts was because party found no antisemitism – but Keir Starmer condemned the same as antisemitic when shared by left-winger Rebecca Long-Bailey
Right-wing former front-bench Labour MP Khalid Mahmood’s attempt to defend against former employee Elaina Cohen’s tribunal claim that the MP sacked her for making ‘protected disclosures’ to safeguard vulnerable women from a staffer with whom Mahmood was reportedly having an affair has seen further explosive allegations and revelations today.
Cohen raised concerns with Mahmood after a number of domestic violence victims approached her saying that the other staffer had used her position in a domestic violence charity to blackmail them into theft, taking penalty points for others and defrauding benefits – and Cohen also accused her then-colleague of posting antisemitic comments. She has told the tribunal that despite repeated attempts to get Mahmood – and party leader Keir Starmer and his sidekick David Evans – to take action, she was repeatedly ignored, silenced and ultimately sacked.
Mahmood claims that despite his position as the employer, he was ‘bullied and harassed’ by Mrs Cohen, but he and his legal team accepted unchallenged into evidence a statement by one of the alleged victims about the horrific exploitation she had suffered, rather than risk putting her in the witness seat for cross-examination.
And today he told the tribunal that he had not taken action against the staffer over Cohen’s antisemitism complaint because the Labour party ultimately found that she had not posted anything antisemitic – even though the social media post in question was the same one that Keir Starmer used as a pretext for sacking left-wing rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from his front bench.
At the time, Starmer said:
The sharing of that article was wrong… because the article contained antisemitic conspiracy theories and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet.
In the ‘mainstream’ newspaper article shared by both Long-Bailey and Mahmood’s staffer, actress Maxine Peake discussed the killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident, by police who knelt on his neck and the idea that US police may have learned the tactic during exchange visits in Israel. Israeli police denied this was a measure they used, but photographic evidence of Israeli troops attacking Palestinians and details of tactical training courses later showed the manoeuvre in use.
Mahmood’s testimony sheds an unflattering light yet again on the huge hypocrisy and double-standards of Keir Starmer and the Labour party machine, which claims to have a zero-tolerance approach to claimed antisemitism yet has repeatedly turned a blind eye, in the case of right-wingers including Shadow Cabinet-level front-benchers, to the same and often far worse comments and conduct than was ever said by left-wingers hounded out of the party and pilloried in the media.
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