Labour candidate Rhea Wolfson subjected to 'vile antisemitic abuse' by Scottish Nationalist blog

Ms Wolfson received messages of support from leading Scottish Labour figures


Senior Labour politicians have condemned “vile antisemitic abuse” of a Jewish parliamentary candidate after a Scottish Nationalist blog referred to Hitler in its attack on her.

Rhea Wolfson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Livingstone, was attacked in a blog post about her involvement with the GMB union and its organisation of a two-day strike in Glasgow over unequal pay for women.

The Grouse Beater blog wrote that Hitler "accused ‘The Jew’ of gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement" because he "wanted a blindly obedient fighting force loyal only to the national leader of government".

“Whether or not Wolfson is intellectually aware of Hitler’s outlook is unknown," the blog said. "But she certainly knows how to make the most of it, however, Labour’s travails over its alleged antisemitism isn’t for this essay.”

Twitter accounts linked to the SNP promoted the blog, including accounts claiming to represent the party's branches in the Edinburgh East and Livingstone East constituencies.

Responding to the blog, Ms Wolfson tweeted: “A local SNP account is sharing an article about me that quotes Hitler and supports his views of Jews ‘running trade unions’. I don’t know who runs this account but I think you’re disgusting.”

Paul Sweeney, Labour MP for Glasgow East, described the blog post as “utterly reprehensible".

Richard Leonard, leader of Scottish Labour, tweeted: "Rhea, you have my solidarity and full support. We must always challenge bigotry and racism in whatever form it comes in."

The East Livingstone SNP account later deleted its link to the article, and tweeted: “Earlier tonight a link was posted from this account to an article which has been accused of antisemitism.

"Although we are sure the individual who posted the link holds no such views, the link was a bad misjudgement on their part.

“The linked article does not express the views of Livingston East SNP and the offending posts have been deleted from our accounts. The individual will no longer be posting on behalf on Livingston East SNP. We apologise for any offence caused.”

But Ms Wolfson responded: “You haven’t apologised. Anonymously saying sorry to thin air after you’ve posted fascist material isn’t apologising.

"I’m waiting for an actual apology and also to hear what action will be taken against the poster.”

She added she never expected to see “such outright support for such obviously antisemitic views".

"I couldn’t care less about party politics when it comes to tackling racism, I’d expect the same of everyone,” she said.

An SNP spokesperson said: "The blog should not have been shared by any SNP member and Rhea Wolfson deserves a full apology from the author for the clear offence that has been caused. We will assess any complaints of antisemitism using the IHRA definition and all examples." 

The party subsequently confirmed that it had suspended the membership of the blogger in question, with the case passed to a disciplinary committee.

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