Hard Left Think Anti-Semitism Is Acceptable Face Of Racism: Hodge

28 February 2019, 07:52

Dame Margaret Hodge said the hard-left section of the Labour Party think that anti-Semitism is the acceptable form of racism.

Labour suspended MP Chris Williamson, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, yesterday after he told a Momentum meeting that the party had been "too apologetic" over anti-Semitism.

But that only came after reports that the Labour leader had personally intervened to ensure the Derby North MP was not suspended over the incident, before eventually bowing to pressure.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Dame Margaret said: "Yesterday was a very difficult day. What should have happened is we should have suspended Chris Williamson first thing in the morning for what he'd done.

"This guy has a record. He's done it before. He's apologised before. And then he goes out and repeats the actions."

Nick Ferrari spoke to Dame Margaret Hodge about Chris Williamson's suspension
Nick Ferrari spoke to Dame Margaret Hodge about Chris Williamson's suspension. Picture: LBC

Referring to Labour's response to the anti-Semitism crisis, Dame Margaret added: "There is some action, but it's not quick enough, it's not firm enough.

"There has always been anti-Semitism present in the hard-left, but it's always been at the fringes of the Labour Party.

"What has happened now is that with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, what has been on the fringes has come into the mainstream.

"Permission has been given for expression of views which are abhorrent, which are anti-Semitism.

"There's this oddity among the hard-left that somehow anti-Semitism is the acceptable face of racism."

Asked if she could follow Luciana Berger and other MPs to the Independent Group, the Barking MP responded: "I've been a member of the Labour Party for years and years and years. I'm not going to be bullied out of the party."

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

Russian invasion of Ukraine made Nato 'look again' at military capability, says defence chief

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

There's an 'ethical and political vacuum in No10', says former chief of staff

Nick Ferrari grilled Priti Patel on her Rwanda migrant plan.

Rwanda migrant plan is not 'appalling' but 'should be a deterrent', Priti Patel tells LBC

Exclusive
Lord Bilimoria, outgoing president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

'Reduce taxes now': Outgoing CBI chief calls on Rishi to slash 'highest taxes in 70 years'

Grant Shapps has criticised the RMT leader Mick Lynch.

Rail strike called under 'false pretences' by RMT's '1970s union baron' boss, says Shapps

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Ofgem chief warns price cap hike 'could be more' than predicted £800

Exclusive
The chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy has told LBC the industry can be run more effectively with fewer staff.

'Steam age' railway can be run more effectively with fewer staff, rail boss says

Rail strikes will cause "misery for millions"

'Driving unrest and stoking unrealistic expectations': Minister slams RMT ahead of strikes

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

'What's the point of advisors?!': Nick Ferrari baffled by resignation of Lord Geidt

The minister was speaking to LBC 's Nick Ferrari

Minister calls on Mayor of London to drop congestion charge on rail strike days

Nick reacts to the cancellation of the Rwanda flight

'Who runs Britain?': Nick Ferrari slams 'lefty lawyers' for 'holding UK hostage'

Exclusive
High Court judge has ruled Archie's treatment should be stopped and his life support turned off

'He won't give up': Archie Battersbee's mum vows to fight ruling to end son's life

RMT boss can't rule out general strike and warns 'rich have never been richer'

RMT chief doesn't rule out general strike and says 'rich have never been richer'

Exclusive
The Prime Minister was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Boris Johnson says he is 'bringing in tax cuts as fast as we can'

Exclusive
Boris Johnson defended the government's Rwanda migrant plans

'It’s the government’s job': PM hits back at Charles in Rwanda migrants flights row

Nick Ferrari baffled by anti-smoking watershed recommendation for films like Popeye

Nick Ferrari baffled by anti-smoking watershed recommendation for films like Popeye