Labour left-winger Salma Yaqoob has accused her party of “capitulation to unaffiliated lobbies of extreme right wing governments” - and claimed she and two MPs were criticised after taking part in a Zoom conference with people expelled from the Labour Party over antisemitism because they had dared to ‘”stand for Palestinian rights.”
In an extraordinary outburst on social media, Ms Yaqoob, who was beaten by Liam Byrne in the contest to be the party’s West Midlands mayoral candidate, also claimed organisations such as the “Board of Deputies and the Campaign Against Antisemitism have not hidden their goal of obliterating ‘Corbynism’.”
In an attack on current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, she said: “Seeking to win the approval of such hostile groups instead of calling them out is naive at best and a huge political misjudgement at worst. We have lost so much as a result.”
In a Twitter thread, the former Respect Party parliamentary candidate wrote: “I understand the dismay of Labour members at the clear sabotage, bullying and racism revealed in the Labour leaks report.”
She added: “But don’t give the Right what they want by giving up. It’s time to fight back.
“We should be on the front foot. In the wider movement as well as inside the Party. And we must refuse to internalise the frame & censorship they have tried to impose on us.”
Responding to last week’s exclusive JC report in to a Zoom conference attended by expelled activists such as Tony Greenstein and Jackie Walker, Ms Yaqoob wrote: “The attacks on myself, Diane & Bell [Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy] are just an extension of the attacks on left wing activists-especially those who dare to stand for Palestinian rights.
“We are not the first targets. And if Left continues prioritising ‘optics’ over solidarity politics, we will not be the last.”
Ms Yaqoob had earlier denied she was set to speak alongside Mr Greenstein at a Stop The War Campaign event later this month. She claimed organisers had misunderstood her offer of speaking at an event further in the future.
Last October Ms Yaqoob was criticised by Labour’s Naz Shah over her decision to stand as West Midlands mayor. The Bradford West MP wrote: “Two years ago Salma Yaqoob ran against me in Bradford West, a campaign that drove me to feeling suicidal. Now she wants to run for West Midlands Metro Mayor.
All my life I’ve campaigned against patriarchy and I stand on a platform of reform. Here I wasn't the "most Muslim" It pains me to see “Galloway politics”, and the vitriol that brings with it, happening all over again now in the West Midlands.”
Ms Yaqoob disputed Ms Shah’s claims.
In a ballot of Labour members in February, former Treasury Minister Mr Byrne easily triumphed over Ms Yaqoob.