Labour MP branded a 'disgrace' for saying Dame Margaret Hodge pursuing 'vendetta' against Jeremy Corbyn

Lloyd Russell-Moyle is accused of seeking to 'dismiss widespread concerns about Labour’s Peterborough candidate'


A Labour MP has been branded a "disgrace" for suggesting veteran Jewish MP Dame Margaret Hodge's motive for criticising the party’s new Peterborough MP over alleged antisemitism was a decades-old “vendetta” against Jeremy Corbyn.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle accused Dame Margaret of having "dedicated her time to undermine" Mr Corbyn since his election to represent Islinton North in 1983, adding she wanted to bring "more neo-liberalism and austerity on our country".

In a series of tweets, Mr Russell-Moyle tried to berate Dame Margaret for her angry words at Monday night’s meeting of Labour MPs, where she criticised the selection of Lisa Forbes – who has been accused of antisemitism – as the party’s candidate.

Mr Russell-Moyle wrote on Twitter: "Hodge is out of touch modern Britain. She attacks newly elected colleagues for no reason (even after heartfelt apologies), she wants to roll out more neo-liberalism and austerity on our country.

"Her work on tax avoidance is the exception not the rule of her poor performance.”

He added she had "vitriolicly cut the funding" to a group after it took part in Stop The War demonstrations against the Iraq War.

He said Mr Corbyn and John McDonnell, now shadow chancellor, "came to our rescue and fought for our funding to be returned and against political punishment for fighting for peace".

“Let’s remember Hodge in 1983 was lined up by the right of party to be the MP for Islington North and as leader of the council was considered a shoe in. [Jeremy Corbyn] stood as a rank a file member and won," he tweeted. 

"She has never forgiven him and has dedicated her time to undermine him.”

But MP Ian Austin, who left Labour earlier this year, said Mr Russell-Moyle’s comments were a “complete disgrace” and said the Brighton Kemptown MP wished to “dismiss widespread concerns about Labour’s Peterborough candidate as being based on support for austerity or neo-liberalism”.

Mr Austin, who now represents Dudley North as an independent, added that it was clear Ms Forbes “in addition to liking a post about ‘Zionist slave-masters’ had approved a meesage claiming Islamic extremists were created by the CIA and Mossad and signed a letter opposing the IHRA definition.

“The Labour Party either did not check or did not care what she said and it shows once again how racism against Jewish people has become normal under Jeremy Corbyn.”

During Monday’s meeting of Labour MPs, Dame Margaret voiced her anger to Mr Corbyn over the selection of Ms Forbes and the failure to stamp down on “institutional antisemitism” in the party.

On Twitter, Mr Russell-Moyle also initially shared a video posted by the account Socialist Voice, run by an activist barred from Labour for accusing supermarket chains of having “Jewish blood.”

But shortly after posting, Mr Russell-Moyle deleted his tweet, sharing the same clip again but from a different account.

He also wrote: “[Dame Margaret] attacks newly elected colleagues for no reason (even after heartfelt apologies)

“Antisemitism is problem in [Labour], I’ve had vile antisemites rightly kicked out locally. But to call someone an antisemite on base of concern with IHRA or liking a photos/video with text and abuse them in public, after they say they sorry and want to learn, is wrong.

“[Dame Margaret] has abused people in lobbies and corridors and last night’s personal outburst at a newly elected MP was another low after apology offered.”

Dame Margaret replied that her actions were “not simply a vendetta".

She added: “I have loudly & repeatedly called out Labour antisemitism because we have a serious problem & leadership has failed to act. Lloyd, let's meet for coffee to talk this through properly.”

Mr Russell-Moyle previously sparked anger by calling the MPs who left Labour in February to found Change UK  “scabs” .

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