Dame Louise Ellman to face no confidence motion debate on eve of Yom Kippur

Exclusive: Motion castigates Jewish MP for saying she 'understood' why Jews feared a Corbyn government


A Labour branch in Dame Louise Ellman’s Liverpool Riverside constituency is to debate a motion calling for her resignation – on the evening of Yom Kippur.

The St Michael’s Labour branch is to meet on Tuesday evening - Kol Nidre - to discuss a motion of no confidence in the Jewish MP.

A motion, proposed by a member named Ritchie Hunter, cites JC article that reported Dame Louise's speech in which she said she said she “understands why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM".

The motion says: "We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our CLP and our Riverside constituency or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”

It adds: “This branch therefore call on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign.”

The Jewish Labour Movement called it "truly despicable" and the "racially motivated targeting and bullying of a Jewish MP".

Dame Louise has faced a sustained campaign from left-wing activists to force her out of the constituency she has represented since 1997.

In August, she became the new chair of Labour Friends of Israel, and she made her comments about understanding why Jews would “consider” leaving the UK if Mr Corbyn became PM at the organisation’s annual rally at this year’s Labour Party conference.

The speech was reported by several different news organisations, although the St Michael’s Labour branch only referred to the JC.

It is understood that Dame Louise came under sustained pressure from activists at the last meeting of the Riverside Constituency Labour Party (CLP) last month – with calls from some for there to be a vote of no confidence.

But the chair of the meeting ruled that sufficient due notice had not been given to force a vote of no confidence in their MP and suggested that the best route of progress was through individual wards.

Labour activists were incensed with Dame Ellman’s remarks to the JC that the party’s conference would witness “blatant antisemitism” at some fringe events.

Tuesday’s branch meeting begins at 8pm – after the time at which most Jews will be observing Yom Kippur.

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “That a Jewish MP should be threatened with a vote of no confidence tabled for Yom Kippur – the holiest day in the Jewish calendar when she has no opportunity even to respond  – ought to be a source of deep shame for the Labour Party.

"That Labour shelters antisemites while attacking anti-racism campaigners is why the EHRC is investigating a political party for the first time since it looked into the activities of the BNP.

"Louise Ellman has fought bravely against antisemitism in her own party, and she should be applauded, not vilified.”

Earlier this year Dame Louise admitted she was “agonising over the situation” in Labour and whether she should remain in the party.

She added: "I’m upset and I’m angry. I’ve been in the Labour party for 56 years.

"I’ve been an elected representative for 50. But I am a fighter. I am still fighting this from inside the party.”

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