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Maajid Nawaz Tells The Labour Party It May Be Too Late For It To Overcome Anti-Semitism
14 July 2019, 17:12
Maajid Nawaz delivered a passionate message to the Labour Party that it may just be too late to overcome the issue of anti-Semitism.
A row within the Labour Party deepened after General Secretary Jennie Formby accused Deputy Leader Tom Watson of "traducing" her while she is undergoing cancer treatment.
Mr Watson wrote to her calling for the party to publish its submission to the human rights watchdog investigating allegations of anti-Semitism, but Ms Formby replied to say she was "very disappointed" by his approach and said he was abusing his position.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott retweeted a number of messages critical of Mr Watson, including calls for him to 'consider his position'.
It comes as eight former officials spoke out against the party's handling of anti-Semitism in a documentary, two of whom have threatened to sue the party for their response to whistleblowers who featured in the film.
But Maajid Nawaz said it was time for the party to "stop victim blaming" and to listen to the concerns of minorities who feel unsafe.
Speaking directly to the party on his LBC show, Maajid said: "If these voices are raising their heads above the parapet and they are saying that they are made to feel unsafe in the party that is meant to be their safe space, that is meant to be a place for anti-racism, that is meant to be the progressive party, you are not meant to be the racists.
"And so if one of the smallest minorities in this country, is telling you, is screaming and pleading for you to listen to them and telling you that you are making them feel unwanted and unsafe, then stop victim blaming.
"Stop trying to sidestep the issue.
"Stop reinforcing the anti-Semitism they're complaining about by saying that this is some form of media conspiracy.
"Stop making the victim, who you should be supporting, feel even more stigmatised for raising their voice and listen to them.
"And listen to what the problem is that they are raising.
"Listen to why you're making them feel unsafe.
"That's what an anti-racist should be doing."
Maajid continued: "You're meant to be the anti-racist party, for goodness sakes.
"You're not meant to be the institutionally racist party. And it may well just be too late.
"I for one will find it very difficult to overcome this particular chapter.
"Because it's not just about removing Jeremy Corbyn. It's about removing the mechanisms and the processes which allowed for this anti-Semitism to become institutionalised within the Labour Party.
"It will take time to heal those wounds. I don't see from my perspective Labour recovering anytime soon for me when it comes to this reputation it has now gained for itself as a racist institutionally racist party."
Watch Maajid's passionate message in full above.