Labour member’s slur on Jewish donor brings suspension, as party acts against ‘thousands’


Labour has suspended a party member after being alerted to statements he made about Jews and Israel.

Action was taken against Terence Flanagan, of the party’s Hampstead and Kilburn branch, after 17 pieces of evidence were sent to Labour’s compliance unit regarding the offensive comments.

Mr Flanagan sent out a group e-mail to Labour members, circulating a petition calling for the expulsion from Labour of Jewish former donor Michael Foster.

Mr Foster had compared supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “storm troopers” in the Daily Mail, a remark described by the Board of Deputies as “inflammatory”.

Mr Flanagan did not describe Mr Foster by name, however, when urging his removal, referring to him instead as “the Jewish millionaire”.

In another e-mail sent by Mr Flanagan, he blamed the “Israeli Mossad Organised Collection” for “orchestrating the attack upon the members’ choice Jeremy Corbyn”.

Mr Flanagan had previously compared a Jewish Labour councillor, Phil Rosenberg, to Josef Goebbels, in comments made on Holocaust Memorial Day this year. He refused to apologise when asked to do so.

Mr Rosenberg said Mr Flanagan had been “repeatedly abusive to me, other councillors and other Labour Party members. Too often, his language crossed the line in to clear antisemitism.

“I initially tried to point this out to him in a collegiate, comradely way, but he was impervious to this and so I had to take more formal route.

“The result gives me no pleasure. I would much rather that he had acknowledged and learned from his earlier, unacceptable behaviour, but he would not. In the end, this had to be the right decision by the party.”

The suspension came as leaked documents showed Labour had suspended thousands of members for using racist or threatening language.

Among the abuse was, it is reported, claims Jews were “owning the media” and use of the word “Zio”.

That term was singled out for criticism by Shami Chakrabarti in her inquiry into antisemitism in the party.

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