Anti-Semitism Whistleblowers Threaten To Sue Labour Party

14 July 2019, 07:14 | Updated: 14 July 2019, 11:11

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Getty

Two whistleblowers who criticised Labour's handling of anti-Semitism have said they now plan to sue the party.

Former party officials Sam Matthews and Louise Withers Green, who featured in a BBC Panorama investigation into anti-Semitism in the party, say they believe they were defamed by Labour in its response to their allegations.

The documentary included claims that senior figures, including leader Jeremy Corbyn's advisor Seumas Milne and General Secretary Jennie Formby, had interfered in investigations.

In its response, Labour said the claims came from "disaffected former officials" who had "personal and political axes to grind" against Mr Corbyn, and casted doubt on their "credibility" as sources.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said in response that Labour was wrong to be "going for" whistleblowers who revealed how the party handled anti-Semitism.

Ms Thornberry said that she understood the party had concerns about the BBC Panorama programme that highlighted the issue, but added it was important the party addressed the problems the documentary raised about the way cases of alleged anti-Semitism are dealt with.

"I think that we shouldn't be going for the messengers, we should be looking at the message. I think that is what is important," she said.

"Nobody can pretend that there isn't an ongoing problem within the Labour Party about anti-Semitism, about our processes for dealing with it."

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