Luciana Berger targeted by antisemites after jailing of abusive internet troll

By Marcus Dysch, October 24, 2014
Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger

The jailing of an internet troll who sent antisemitic messages to MP Luciana Berger has sparked a wave of copycat abuse targeting the Labour shadow cabinet member.

Merseysider Garron Helm was handed a four-week prison term on Monday after admitting sending an “obscene” Hitler-related tweet to Ms Berger.

It featured a photograph of the Liverpool Wavertree MP superimposed with a Holocaust yellow star and the wording: "You can always count on a Jew to show their true colours eventually".

Helm’s incarceration was widely welcomed, but Ms Berger has subsequently been targeted by similar messages on Twitter.

One sent her a message containing only the word “jude” – the German word for Jew.

Another bombarded Ms Berger with messages on Thursday evening, and also targeted fellow Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman.

In one tweet the user wrote: “Two Jews in a shtetl. Family tree is a knot. #InbredJews #ExpelLucianaBerger #ExpeltheJews #JewOwnedBritain”

And in another: “Only two places for Jews. The desert or in hell with their father the devil. #ExpelLucianaBerger”

Other messages are too offensive to reproduce. A series of tweets have been posted since Monday using the hashtag #FreeGarronHelm.

BNP members are among those to have sent the messages.

Colleagues across Parliament have reacted to the abuse.

Lord Wood, a Labour peer and adviser to party leader Ed Miliband, wrote on Twitter: “The vile antisemitic abuse of Luciana Berger online only succeeds in uniting everyone in her support and in revulsion against those behind it.”

The official account of Labour’s frontbench House of Lords peers posted: “Hoping many across our party are sending support to fantastic colleague Luciana Berger after the latest online racist attacks against her.”

Baroness Royall, Labour’s leader in the Lords, tweeted: “Luciana Berger is a terrific MP, friend and colleague – a very fine woman. The racist abuse against her must stop. It’s abhorrent.”

Ms Berger has not responded to the latest abusive messages. Earlier this week she welcomed the decision to jail Helm, saying it sent a “clear message that hate crime is not tolerated in our country”.

Elected as Britain’s youngest Jewish MP in 2010, Ms Berger is a former director of Labour Friends of Israel.

She is climbing the party ranks and is Ed Miliband's current shadow public health minister. She is widely tipped for a cabinet role if Labour win next year's election.

Last updated: 12:27pm, October 24 2014