Ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith 'so f**king angry' about 'antisemitic conspiracy theorist' Pete Willsman

Senior party figure was recorded ranting about how 'Israeli embassy' is behind Labour's Jew-hate crisis


Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has called Labour's Pete Willsman the “worst combination of an antisemitic conspiracy theorist you could imagine”, after he was suspended for ranting about how the "Israeli embassy" was behind the party's antisemitism crisis.

Speaking after a tape recording of Mr Willsman revealed he had claimed Labour’s antisemitism crisis on was being "whipped up" by the embassy, Ms Smith said: “I’m so f**king angry about him.”

The first woman to be home secretary said the recording - in which Mr Willsman also said Labour staffers were working "indirectly" for the embassy – also criticised the party for merely suspending Mr Willsman over the “bang to rights recording.”

Speaking on the For The Many with Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith podcast, Ms Smith said: “If you can auto-exclude somebody for what Alastair (Campbell)  said you should certainly be able to auto-exclude somebody for what he said.”

She added: "There is absolutely no way you can argue it was taken out of context or he didn’t say it. What now happens will be really important in the party.”

Sounding close to tears, she then said: “We thought last summer - 'can this antisemitism cloud hanging over Labour Party on for much longer?' And it’s still going on now, which is so frustrating.”

Ms Smith also referred Mr Willsman's earlier rant - exposed last year by the JC - in which he shouted to Labour NEC members that Jewish people were "Trump fanatics and all the rest of it".

Ms Smith said: “He’s got form Pete Willsman – he was elected to the NEC after he had made similar antisemitic comments during the course of that election campaign.

“To be fair to Momentum they chucked him off of their slate – but he still got re-elected with as many votes as if he would have done if he would have been on the Momentum slate because it took them a bit of time to chuck him off. It is really disgusting.”

Ms Smith said that, in the week that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission began its inquiry into Labour antisemitism, it was “utterly appalling” Mr Willsman was a member of the party’s governing body that is responding to the inquiry.

Asked why she hadn’t quit the party herself, she said: “If I thought there was no chance of bringing it back, if I thought the people whose side I wanted to be on during the battle were no longer there – then I would go.”

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