James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Labour anti-semitism whistleblower describes how party turned on him
22 July 2020, 17:53
One of the seven anti-Semitism whistleblowers told LBC how the Labour party turned on him and what today's apology means.
The Labour Party has agreed to pay "substantial damages" to seven anti-Semitism whistleblowers after accepting statements made about the individuals were "defamatory and false."
The former employees sued Labour after it issued a press release describing them as having "personal and political axes to grind".
Investigations Officer in the Labour Party Dan Hogan was one of the people to receive this apologies and told LBC it meant "a great deal" and he is relieved his reputation as a whistleblower has been restored.
Mr Hogan told Eddie he worked for the party from 2007 but left his job investigating disciplinary cases against anti-Semites when it became "impossible" due to the "toxic atmosphere created around our team."
"We became obstructed and our work was interfered with by those higher up in the party, including in Jeremy Corbyn's office," Mr Hogan said.
He called it "really hard" to be defamed by the party he loves: "For people who work there it becomes a bit of a family...then having that party then accuse me of trying to actively undermine it when all I've tried to do is serve the Labour party...was extraordinarily hurtful."
Former leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised the party for apologising to the antisemitism whistleblowers, calling it a "political decision" as opposed to a legal one - Eddie asked Mr Hogan what he thought of this.
Mr Hogan responded that "one of the best libel solicitors in the country" took his case and was very confident the whistleblowers had a good chance of success.
"None of this matters now because the party has apologised, they've retracted those statements and realised they were wrong - that means a lot," he said.
"While it would mean a lot more if the people who were actually responsible for those comments were being made in the first place acknowledged they were wrong, it still means a lot that the party, the institution and its new leadership obviously wants to put this issue to bed."
Mr Hogan told Eddie that there has been a conflict in the Labour party "for the last few years" but commented that the new leader Sir Keir Starmer is "bringing the party together."
He said there will still be Labour members "wedded" to Jeremy Corbyn, he and the other whistleblowers want to put this "shameful chapter in the party's history" behind them.
"The only people who are still fighting these old battles and defending the indefensible are Jeremy Corbyn and his allies. If they want to keep doing so they will remain part of Labour's history instead of its future," Mr Hogan said.