Activists 'hell-bent' on attacking Jewish Labour MP at constituency meetings


A veteran Jewish Labour MP has been targeted by activists who are “hell-bent” on attacking her at meetings of her constituency party.

The orchestrated campaign against Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, from within her own local branch has created an “intimidating and hostile” atmosphere for Jewish members, a councillor said this week.

The verbal attacks have taken place during the past two months at constituency meetings at which Mrs Ellman was present.

A small group of hard-left activists have attended the sessions to attack her, repeatedly asking questions about her position on Israel.

The JC understands that on at least three occasions, antisemitic remarks were made.

Mrs Ellman has represented Labour in the seat since 1997. Last month she was said to be on a list of MPs allegedly drawn up within the party that categorised her as “hostile” towards leader Jeremy Corbyn.

During one meeting in February, activists discussed Hamas tunnels being dug from Gaza into Israel. One member is said to have compared the tunnels to those created by Jews trying to escape Nazi persecution in the Warsaw ghetto.

At last Friday’s session, one attendee claimed Israel was backing Daesh terrorists and that the IDF was operating covertly among jihadis. Mrs Ellman was asked whether she regretted supporting British air strikes in Syria following the alleged death of Israelis in the conflict.

She is also said to have been challenged on her work to combat antisemitism, with Labour supporters claiming the global rise of Jew-hate was “down to the existence of Israel”.

Mrs Ellman has not commented on the incidents.

Nick Small, a senior councillor in Liverpool, said: “I found these comments offensive and believe that they have no place within the broad church of the Labour party.

“There are a tiny but vocal group within our CLP who seem hell-bent on attacking our MP in an orchestrated, horrible, personalised way.

“They are trying to create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility that is making many members, particularly Jewish members, feel deeply uncomfortable.”

Mr Small said he had lodged a complaint with the party.

A Labour spokeswoman said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and will investigate appropriately."

Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Mrs Ellman repeated her criticism of the party’s failure to tackle antisemitism among its members.

She said some activists were being allowed to “get away” with Jew-hate comments online, and called on leader Jeremy Corbyn to take action.

Last month she told the JC she had raised her concerns about Jew-hatred in Labour at a meeting of MPs. She said she had received assurances from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

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