Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge receives disciplinary letter just 12 hours after clash with Jeremy Corbyn

She called the Labour leader an 'antisemite and a racist' to his face


Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge has said it took the party just 12 hours to send her a disciplinary letter after her confrontation with Jeremy Corbyn last week, adding it highlights the party’s failure to respond to allegations of antisemitism quickly.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday, Dame Margaret also stood by her confrontation with the Labour leader, in which she called him “an antisemite and a racist” to his face in the House of Commons.

She confronted him behind the Speaker’s chair on Tuesday, after Labour’s National Executive Committee decided not adopt the full IHRA definition of antisemitism, in favour of its own definition that omits key examples of how criticising Israel can be antisemitic.

She said: “Within 12 hours of talking to Jeremy Corbyn face-to-face I received a disciplinary letter. Think how long it has taken for the Labour Party to respond to any of the allegations of antisemitism.

“I always in the past disagreed with the people who have called him an antisemite but at the end of the day people have to be judged on what they do, and not on what they say.

“I stand by those remarks, and it’s with a real heavy heart. By refusing to adopt the definition, in full, of what antisemitism is, he’s put himself in the position that he’s perceived by many that he’s antisemitic.”

Dame Margaret confirmed she will not quit the Labour Party over the issue, nor will she resign the whip, instead pledging to “fight from within”.

She added that, since the confrontation with Mr Corbyn, she has been targeted with online antisemitic abuse. A member of the public referred to her as a "Zionist b*tch" on a Facebook group supporting the Labour leader.

On Sunday, Mr Corbyn told Sky News that Dame Margaret’s attack had “upset” him – but said he was “as always, very calm”.

Speaking to the BBC, the Labour leader also denied the accusation that the party had attempted to "rewrite" the code.

He said: “It’s accepted almost all of it, and what it has done is it’s also put alongside it a code of conduct for members of the party because we will not tolerate antisemitism in any form whatsoever.”

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