Baroness Jenny Tonge removed from panel discussion amid 'allegations of antisemitic sentiment'

The peer responded by saying 'criticise the Israeli government and you are excluded from other things too. The inquisition rules'


A prominent medical institute withdrew an invitation to a peer to take part in a panel event due to “allegations of antisemitic sentiment”, it has been revealed.

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine wrote to Baroness Jenny Tonge two weeks before an event on maternal healthcare, which was held earlier this month when the school’s director said “a number of issues of concern” were flagged, the British Medical Journal  reported.

“This includes very recent media reports and allegations of antisemitic sentiment which are contradictory to our organisational ethos, and which we do not feel are complementary to this event,” the BMJ quoted her as saying.

In 2010, Baroness Tonge was sacked as the Liberal Democrats' health spokesperson in the House of Lords after demanding an investigation into allegations that IDF aid workers in Haiti were harvesting organs.  

In 2016, she was suspended from the party after she hosted an event at the House of Lords where audience members compared Israel to Isis terrorists and suggested Jews were to blame for the Holocaust. She subsequently resigned from the party.

Last year, Baroness Tonge shared a post on Facebook which referred to the “Jewish lobby” and included a neo-Nazi caricature of a Jewish person in the bottom right hand corner.

She later claimed that she “did not notice bottom right hand corner which could be an Arab looking horrified?”

Baroness Tonge, who has a medical doctorate and is a member of the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, wrote on Facebook after her invitation to the panel was rescinded.

She said she was “to have been a member of a panel discussing MATERNAL HEALTH in developing countries but I was un-invited after complaints from an unknown source, claiming that my presence would disrupt the meeting.

"I was not allowed to know who the complainant was... How they thought I could bring criticism of the government of Israel into maternal health I do not know.

"This is not an isolated incident either. It happens to a lot of people. Criticise the Israeli government and you are excluded from other things too. The inquisition rules.”

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine subsequently told the BMJ: "There was external concern that a successful debate... would be sidetracked by public questions related to the extensive antisemitic issues linked to the Labour Party that were dominating the UK media at the time of the event.

“We made it clear to Baroness Tonge that this was the sole reason for amending the discussion panel, that neither we or others expressing concern were making any judgment or comment on any views that Baroness Tonge may or may not hold."

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