Dame Margaret Hodge calls Jeremy Corbyn's leadership 'uniquely nasty'

Writing for the JC, JLM's parliamentary chair says the election of his successor will be a 'great relief' to 'thousands of Jews across Britain'


Dame Margaret Hodge has branded Jeremy Corbyn a "uniquely nasty’’ Labour leader and has said the election of his successor will be "great relief’’ to herself and "thousands of Jews across Britain’’.

The Jewish Labour Movement’s parliamentary chair also called for the new Labour leader – almost certain to be frontrunner Sir Keir Starmer – to carry out a ‘’complete clean out at the top of the party".

Writing for the JC, the veteran Barking and Dagenham MP, who joined the party 57 years ago, insisted that under Mr Corbyn’s leadership Labour had become "just as difficult to remain in  Labour as it was to leave the party".

Dame Margaret said: "In the future I am sure we will look back at Corbyn’s premiership as a uniquely nasty and shameful, yet mercifully short, period in Labour’s long and proud history.’’

Dame Margaret, who chose to remain in Labour as Jewish colleagues such as Luciana Berger and Dame Louise Ellman left, said: "The vitriolic online abuse, the heartbreak of watching Jewish members and close friends leave the party and Corbyn’s barefaced refusal to confront racism and take antisemitism seriously was almost too much to bear.

"’That is why I stand by my belief that it was just as difficult to remain in the Labour Party as it was to leave the Labour Party.

"During these past four years it has been crucial that Jewish voices across the Labour family - from those in the Jewish Labour Movement, to the courageous and resolute Ruth Smeeth with whom I worked closely - have all continued to call out the antisemitism and hold Jeremy Corbyn and his inner circle to account."

Acknowledging that ‘’too many of my Labour colleagues were silent’’ over calling out anti-Jewish racism, Dame Margaret praised those colleagues who were "brave enough to openly challenge the leadership when it counted."

Dame Margaret also wrote of her anger that Dame Louise was ‘’hounded out’’ of the party after being "endlessly attacked" by members of her Liverpool Riverside Constituency Labour Party members.

She said whether Dame Louise returned to Labour would be "a clear test for the future leader, it will be a signpost as to whether they are serious about eradicating antisemitism for good."

In a message to the new leader, who will be announced on Saturday, she said: "There needs to be a complete clean out at the top of the Labour Party.

"Many Labour Party officials were involved in and have become contaminated by the abject failure to tackle antisemitism. They need to be speedily replaced."

Dame Maargaret also called for a the new leader to work closely with JLM to bring about a "complete change in culture" in the party.

"A fresh dialogue is needed with the broader Jewish community too. It also means making sure that at a local level antisemitism is never left unchecked within the party," she said.

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