Labour accused of 'inexplicable' failure to inform MPs of threats from members

Luciana Berger and Dame Margaret Hodge are among those who were not told of 'credible' threats


Labour has been accused of an “inexplicable” failure to inform up to 10 MPs — including Luciana Berger and Dame Margaret Hodge — about a series of “credible” threats made against them by party members.

The threats, openly antisemitic messages and images were all presented to Labour’s disputes panel, which is overseen by head of legal affairs, Gordon Nardell QC, at a meeting in July.

In one Facebook post, a Labour member, who is an online friend of  Derby North MP Chris Williamson, was shown to have written: “Zionist Extremist MP Luciana Berger, who hates civilised people, about (to) get a good kicking!” It is unknown if Williamson read the post.

The same individual was also revealed to have shared numerous other antisemitic posts with their 7,000 followers and friends online, including an image suggesting American taxpayers’ money is being channelled into the slaughter of Palestinians by Jewish controllers.

But despite the alleged weight of evidence against them, it has emerged that the individual , who admitted targeting Ms Berger, was only suspended by Labour last week after radio station LBC was handed a dossier of 45 antisemitism cases presented to the Party’s disputes panel. 

Ms Berger was at no stage notified of the latest threats to be made against her, despite the apparent serious nature of the evidence, which is now being investigated by the police.

David Wolfson QC, a barrister at One Essex Court said: “This is serious. Neither to inform the Police, nor the intended victims, of credible threats of serious violence appears inexplicable.”

Labour MP John Mann said it was a “scandal beyond comprehension” that Labour had failed to notify its own MPs of “direct named threats.”

Dame Margaret Hodge — who was herself the subject of threats made known to Labour’s disputes panel — said: “They (Labour) are not informing MPs and I think their failure to do so means they are not really fulfilling their duty of care to their members.

“And they are also not properly,  I would have thought, following their own guidelines on safeguarding individual party members.”

Last week it emerged that Cressida Dick, head of the Metropolitan Police, had confirmed that her officers were investigating the contents of the leaked dossier  from the July disputes panel meeting.

Mak Chishty, former hate crime investigator for the Met, said nearly half of the dossier would be deemed evidence of race-hate material.

Adam Wagner, human rights lawyer at Doughty Street Chambers said: “What do you think would happen if the threats were then carried out and they hadn’t told them?”

A Labour spokesperson said: “When the party is made aware of a serious and possible criminal threat against an MP or party member that individual is informed and the matter is referred to our Safeguarding Unit to report it to the police.”

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