Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle invites representative of antisemitic group to Parliament

The Houthis' official slogan is, 'God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam'


A Labour MP has invited a representative of an antisemitic Yemenite military group to Parliament, saying he wants to “encourage dialogue with people on all sides.”

The Sun reported that Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, has invited Ahmed Alshami of the Houthi insurgency group to a Stop the War coalition meeting being held at Westminster on Tuesday.

The Houthis, backed by Iran, are one side of the ongoing Civil War in Yemen, with the other, the previous Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia. The official Houthi slogan is “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam”.

Both sides have committed atrocities, although the side backed by the Saudis, which has also been assisted by the US and Britain, has carried out heavy bombing attacks which have killed or injured thousands of civilians.

Responding on Sunday to a fellow Labour MP, Graham Jones, who had criticised his invitation to the group, Mr Russell-Moyle called him a “tit” and “illegal arms sales apologist”. The Brighton MP described Mr Alshami as “part of the delegation to the UN process.

“I support efforts to bring peace to Yemen, encouraging dialogue with people on all sides, however much I disagree with Mr Alshami [sic] views - a task made harder by UK and you supporting & arming Saudi-led forces.”

However, Mr Russell-Moyle was asked why, if he encouraged dialogue with people on all sides, he had not invited any representatives from the Yemeni government to Parliament.

Mr Russell-Moyle has an ambiguous track record on Labour antisemitism. Although in April he supported the suspension of a Labour member who had called for a march on a local synagogue, earlier this month he was branded a “disgrace” after accusing Margaret Hodge, the MP for Barking, of having a decades-old vendetta against Jeremy Corbyn.

Dame Margaret, who is Jewish, has been vocally critical of antisemitism within the Labour party and the failure of Jeremy Corbyn to deal with it.

In 2017 Mr Russell-Moyle, then a newly elected MP, was also discovered to have actively interceded on behalf of a suspended Labour activist, Melanie Melvin, who claimed that the BBC had faked footage of a Syrian gas attack at the behest of the “Israeli lobby”.

Despite having told a Labour councillor, Caroline Penn, that he was “not appealing” on behalf of Ms Melvin, Mr Russell-Moyle wrote to Labour’s general secretary recommending Ms Melvin’s reinstatement, saying: “I do hope her record and her apologies will be enough to... allow her to return to membership.”

Ms Melvin subsequently left the party. Another tweet of hers a few days prior to the conspiracy theory tweet was a response to an account talking about other MPs bullying Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary.

“Maybe she could claim Jewish ancestry”, Ms Melvin tweeted. “Then there’d be action.”

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