Jewish Labour MPs fear they are being drawn into 'civil war' with Jeremy Corbyn

Exclusive: Senior MP says they have been pushed 'to the brink'


Jewish Labour MPs and their supporters in the Labour Party fear they are being drawn into a “civil war” with leader Jeremy Corbyn, the JC can reveal.

One senior parliamentarian said that the treatment dished out to Labour grandee Dame Margaret Hodge after her confrontation with Mr Corbyn on Tuesday evening had pushed several MPs “to the brink”.

In a move driven by Seamus Milne, Mr Corbyn’s right hand man, Dame Margaret was told she faced formal disciplinary proceedings after calling the Labour leader an “antisemite” to his face in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.

She confronted him after the party refused to adopt the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism, opting for its own narrower one in the face of huge opposition British Jewry.

The JC has learned there was a second confrontation between pro-Israeli MP Ian Austin and pro-Corbyn Labour MP Ian Lavery on Tuesday.

Mr Austin is alleged to have told Mr Lavery to “get out of my face” after allegations of intimidation by the left-winger.

Labour Party sources disputed claims that it was Mr Austin who was subjected to intimidation from Mr Lavery.

One senior Party source insisted: “Mr Austin's account is hotly contested, with sources close to Mr Lavery saying the aggression and intimidation came from Mr Austin."

The same source claimed Mr Milne had not “driven” the case for disciplinary proceedings against Dame Margaret.

On Wednesday night, there were claims that the Labour leadership wanted “to make an example” out of Dame Margaret.

A source told the JC: “We are at the point of open civil war between Jeremy Corbyn’s lot and the Jewish MPs and their supporters.

“This is the worst it’s ever been for the Jewish MPs who have protested against antisemitism in the Party.

“We are almost at the point of no return. This is it.”

Speaking to the JC on Wednesday, Dame Louise Ellman, the Liverpool Riverside MP, said the treatment of Dame Margaret was “outrageous”.

She added: “It is the Labour Party who are on the rack over antisemitism. A lot of people are very upset about what is going on. The issue of antisemitism is rapidly becoming a crisis issue in the Labour Party.”

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