Councillor and vocal antisemitism critic driven to 'suicidal thoughts' by abuse from local Labour members

Former Momentum member Jack Deakin said he has been inundated with abuse since a far-left blog accused him of being Green Party member


A 21-year-old Labour councillor has said abuse from members of his CLP since he has become a vocal critic of antisemitism in the party has driven him to “suicidal thoughts”.

North Warwickshire Borough Councillor Jack Deakin also said he had been sent rape threats and accused of being in the pay of Israel.

Mr Deakin joined the Labour Party in 2016 having been a member of the Green Party and was initially excited and inspired by Jeremy Corbyn.

The former Momentum member said: “I was a fan, I was really inspired by what he was saying about changing society and making it better but then I started to notice all these complaints from people about antisemitism.”

Mr Deakin said as soon as he started to speak out against Jew-hate in his CLP and in the wider Labour movement he was subjected to abuse online from Labour members.

“I was sent rape threats, people have made sexual comments about me, they have made fun of my mental health and I am not ashamed to say the hate I have faced has made me at times feel suicidal.”

He said that since the far-left, pro-Corbyn blog Skawkbox published a story accusing him of being a member of the Green Party when he voted for Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 leadership contest, he has been inundated with abuse on social media.

“I have been sent constant bile, threats of violence, mental health slurs, antisemitic tropes, even accusations of being autistic.”

In his own CLP, he said a member had told him that he “must be in the payroll of Israel” since he was using his social media to challenge and highlight instances of antisemitism.

He said that when he stood to be a councillor in North Warwickshire he was told by fellow Labour members not to speak out about antisemitism because it was “electorally damaging”.

He said the former Labour politician Mike O’Brien, who was MP for North Warwickshire from 1992 to 2010, serving in a number of ministerial posts, had told him to “smile more and talk less about antisemitism”.

Mr Deakin said: “I don’t think this would have been said to me if I had been speaking up for another minority.”

He said the pressure put on him “was unfair and distressing”.

He said he no longer attends branch meetings because members of the local branch executive are “ardent Chris Williamson supporters,” some of whom have “shared ban the burqa posts, or have aggressively challenged me for talking about antisemitism publically.”

In June he was behind a letter backed by North East councillors calling on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to take action on allegations on antisemitism.

The letter called for action to be taken against the now suspended Mr Williamson who had been re-admitted to the party.

Mr Deakin added: “Even the people who accept antisemitism exists aren’t doing enough or speaking out against it. It was anti-racist values that led me to the party, it’s exactly why I stay to fight and organise against the racists.”

He says his decision to stay involved in the party and to fight antisemitism has left him “racked with guilt. I feel sick that I am in an antisemitic party”.

He said joining the Labour and being exposed to antisemitism had also turned him into a “supporter of Israel".

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