Labour ‘are copying Donald Trump’s fake news playbook over its anti-Semitism crisis’: Lib Dem’s Jo Swinson accuses Corbyn of going ‘to war with the BBC’ instead of tackling problem
- She drew a parallel with attempts by Mr Trump’s associates to allegedly massage the size of the crowds at his inauguration
- Said Labour chose to ‘go to war with the BBC instead of with anti-Semitism’
- Labour collapsed into open civil warfare today as Corbyn allies demanded his deputy Tom Watson quit
Jeremy Corbyn was accused of using ‘disgusting’ Donald Trump-style tactics to shut down criticism of its handling of the anti-Semitism crisis today.
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson tore into Labour for what she said was an attempt to label a Panorama documentary as ‘fake news’ after former staff made a series of hard-hitting claims.
Ms Swinson, 39, drew a parallel with attempts by Mr Trump’s associates to allegedly massage the size of the crowds at his inauguration, speaking to the Huffington Post’s Common People podcast.
The politician, who is running to be Lib Dem leader after Sir Vince Cable, said: ‘It’s like ”the biggest crowds of the inauguration”, it’s saying what they wish their followers to believe and ‘if we just put out a different narrative then we’ll just say it’s all media bias’,’ she said.
‘The thing I find most distressing about this is when faced with such a documentary, such powerful testimony from so many different individuals who clearly care about the Labour movement, that the response from the Labour party is to go to war with the BBC instead of going to war with anti-Semitism in their own ranks.
Ms Swinson, 39, drew a parallel with attempts by Mr Trump’s associates to allegedly massage the size of the crowds at his inauguration
Labour collapsed into open civil warfare today as Jeremy Corbyn’s closest followers demanded his deputy Tom Watson quit for challenging a top party official
‘The way in which they are responding to this is just astonishing, that they are trying to discredit and that they were doing it even before the programme aired effectively to try and call out fake news.
‘Don’t try and tell me these people who are telling us their own experiences, that they are not valid and that they are wrong and that somehow, you Jeremy Corbyn know better what is anti-Semitic and what has happened to that person.
‘And I just think it is really disgusting the way in which they have done that rather than saying we have got a problem and we need to deal with it and we are going to deal with it, and it’s just words but the actions do not back it up.’
Labour collapsed into open civil warfare today as Jeremy Corbyn’s closest followers demanded his deputy Tom Watson quit for challenging a top party official over the anti-Semitism crisis while she was being treated for cancer.
Diane Abbott led a cabal of hard Left MPs who piled into Mr Watson on social media today after he criticised general secretary Jennie Formby.
Shadow home secretary Ms Abbott retweeted a series of critical remarks about the deputy leader, including one questioning his position after he ramped up pressure on the party over its handling of anti-Semitism in the wake of a damning BBC Panorama documentary.
The close associate of Mr Corbyn shared a tweet from NEC representative Claudia Webbe criticising Mr Watson for sending Ms Formby a highly critical letter.
‘This is not behaviour befitting of the Office of Deputy Leader. You should consider your position?’ it said.
Mr Watson (pictured at Labour HQ this week) has written to Ms Formby calling for the party to publish its submission to an official racism probe, as well as raising allegations she had deleted emails relating to cases – something she denies
Party chairman Ian Lavery, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon and fellow Labour MPs Emma Dent Coad and Danielle Rowley were among those who also published diatribes as the schism in the party over anti-semitism widened even further.
It followed an extraordinary riposte from Ms Formby, who said it was ‘inappropriate’ for Mr Watson to highlight her role in the scandal while she was being treated for breast cancer.
The infighting came amid huge fallout from a bombshell BBC Panorama documentary into Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism.
More than 30 whistleblowers are now preparing to give evidence to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is investigating the party’s handling of abuse. They apparently include serving members of staff.
Labour has furiously denied the claims, which it said were made by ‘disaffected employees’ who had always opposed Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
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