EXCL: Senior Labour Figure Suspended For Saying Israeli Embassy Is Behind Anti-Semitism

31 May 2019, 09:19 | Updated: 31 May 2019, 12:07

A senior Labour party official has been suspended after LBC exclusively revealed a recording of him making a series of anti-Jewish claims.


Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s governing National Executive Committee, claimed that the Israeli embassy is whipping up anti-Semitism claims to attack Labour.

He also alleged Labour Party members opposed to Jeremy Corbyn work indirectly for the Israeli embassy and that the embassy instructed 68 rabbis to say that anti-Semitism within the Labour Party was "widespread and severe”.

In a recording obtained by LBC, Mr Willsman can he heard saying: "It's almost certain who is behind all this anti-Semitism against Jeremy. Almost certainly, it was the Israeli embassy.

"They caught somebody in the in the Labour Party who it turns out in an agent in the embassy."

Peter Willsman from Labour's NEC
Peter Willsman from Labour's NEC. Picture: PA

Mr Willsman made these comments in January when he met the American-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom, who was in the UK to write a book about the British.

It was a chance meeting in Oxford but Mr Tenenbom took the opportunity to see whether Mr Willsman could broker an interview with Jeremy Corbyn.

But when the writer pressed Mr Willsman for proof the Israeli embassy was directing attacks against the Labour party, the Labour official went further. He said there were Labour members inside the party working indirectly for the embassy itself.

He said: "The people that are in the Labour Party doing it are people who are linked. One of them works indirectly with the embassy. So obviously, I wouldn't be bothered to find out, but my guess would be they are the ones whipping it up all the time."

Willsman is a powerful member of the NEC and he heads the hard-left and influential Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. NEC members will be responsible for responding to the EHRC's investigation into allegations of institutional racism within the Labour Party. And Willsman has form.

Last year he accused 68 rabbis who said anti-Semitism within the Labour was "widespread a severe” as Donald Trump fanatics. He apologised for any offence caused and was allowed to continue to stand for Labour’s NEC after a warning from then general secretary Jennie Formby that any repeat of the slurs would result in formal disciplinary action.

Nevertheless, he still believes the demand by 68 rabbis that Labour confronts its problem with anti-Semitism problem part of a campaign to attack Mr Corbyn.

LBC spoke to Mr Tenenbom yesterday and asked him about the meeting: "It was shocking. It was surprising, but that's the reality.

"He's a nice guy, he has a great sense of humour, he's knowledgable. But Like Jeremy Corbyn - I met Jeremy and he's also a nice guy, very fatherly - but they suffer from a disease of really hating the Jews."

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA

LBC has contacted Mr Willsman for a response, but have been unable to speak to him.

A spokesman for the Labour party said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

"All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."

Mike Katz from the Jewish Labour Movement told LBC: "Willsman is on the NEC, the party's main governing body. He rules on cases of anti-Semitism.

"This is what we mean when we say that the party has a deep seated institutional racism against Jews."

Wes Streeting
Wes Streeting. Picture: PA

Labour MP Wes Streeting added: "This is pretty jaw-dropping stuff, even by Peter Willsman's standards.

"This is a member of our National Executive Committee. He has form when it comes to anti-Semitism and downplaying and dismissing various concerns. I'm in absolutely no doubt he should go.

"Bear in mind, the National Exexutive Committee is the governing body of the Labour Party. It's the body that is ultimately responsible for the governance of the party, for responding to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has launched this unprecedented inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses his VP Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris promises to do everything in her power to defeat Donald Trump after Joe Biden drops out of race

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden

Jill Biden breaks silence with short emotional tribute to husband Joe after he drops out of Presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting  2024 US presidential race

Starmer praises Joe Biden's 'remarkable career' as leaders react to president quitting 2024 US presidential race

President Joe Biden has dropped out of the 2024 Presidential Race and has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as the Democratic Nominee.

Kamala Harris says she is running for President in first statement since Joe Biden's shock withdrawal

Joe Biden (l) and Kamala Harris (r)

As Joe Biden steps aside who replaces him as the Democrat candidate to take on Trump and what happens now?

President Biden Addresses The Nation From The White House Oval Office

Joe Biden quits 2024 US election LIVE: President Biden backs VP Kamala Harris as Trump hits out at 'unfit' leader

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event yesterday

Donald Trump slams Joe Biden as ‘worst president in history’ and says Kamala Harris will be ‘easier to beat'

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 presidential race

Read Joe Biden’s letter in full as he announces he’s dropping out of 2024 US presidential race

Biden withdraws from US presidential race

Joe Biden has endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris as Democratic Presidential nominee

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

Joe Biden quits 2024 US presidential race and endorses Kamala Harris - as Trump labels him 'unfit to serve'

The 152nd Open - Day Four

American Xander Schauffele crowned The 152nd Open Champion as he finishes -9 to win in Royal Troon

Breaking News

England beat the West Indies by 241 runs in second Test at Trent Bridge

It comes as a TikTok sleuth who joined the hunt for missing teen Jay Slater said he believes the 19-year-old remains trapped in a Tenerife ravine.

Jay Slater's family blast trolls over bogus leads following sightings on the ‘Eurostar’ and ‘watching the Euros’

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

Four men found dead in car following horror collision with tree

The M25 motorway closures are to set to cause travel chaos

Motorway misery: M25, M4 and M1 closures set to disrupt drivers this week – find out if you’re affected

Giovanni Pernice is expecting to be cleared following a misconduct probe, it is understood.

Ex-Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice 'expects to be cleared' amid misconduct allegations