John McDonnell: Labour's Action On Anti-Semitism Should Be Held Up As An Example
6 November 2019, 08:19
John McDonnell told Iain Dale that Labour's response to anti-Semitism will be held up as an example of how to deal with issues of racism within a party - despite refusing to say that Chris Williamson shouldn't stand for them.
Labour's National Executive are to review whether Mr Williamson should be allowed to stand in the Derby North constituency, despite his suspension from the party in a row over anti-Semitism.
Iain Dale asked the Shadow Chancellor whether Mr Williamson should be allowed to stand and Mr McDonnell refused to comment, saying: "Chris's case is being considered at the moment, so I don't want to say anything that prejudices that case. We'll await the National Executive Committee's outcome."
Iain told him: "The correct answer to that question is no, you don't want him to be a candidate at the next election."
But when Mr McDonnell insisted he would not respond to that, Iain asked for his response to Jewish people who hold that up as another example of Labour equivocating over someone who has made remarks that some people consider anti-Semitic.
After arguing that it is only "some" people that consider the comments anti-Semitic Mr McDonnell again insisted he would not speak against Mr Williamson.
Iain then asked about the comments of Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger, both of whom have left the Labour Party over their response to anti-Semitism. But the Shadow Chancellor insisted their reaction should be held up as an example to other parties.
He said: "It's an awful position to be in, but every issue that Louise and Luciana have raised, we've taken up, we've investigated and we've taken action.
"I'm really saddened that Louise has left the party, I really am. But I think she's wrong. Everything that she's asked us to do, we're doing.
"It's been incredibly traumatic of all of us, but we'll come out of it, I think, as an example of how you do address these issues within a political party.
"Other political parties need to learn from that."
Watch the full interview with John McDonnell below.