Louise Ellman ‘appalled’ by claim she was not forced out of Labour due to antisemitism

Former MP responds angrily to statement from her successor in the Liverpool Riverside seat


Louise Ellman - UK Parliament official portraits 2017

Former MP Dame Louise Ellman has responded furiously after her successor in the Liverpool Riverside seat claimed the Jewish ex-parliamentarian was not forced out of the Labour Party by antisemitism. 

Dame Louise resigned from Labour in October 2019 following multiple incidents of anti-Jewish racism within her constituency branch and the party more broadly.

In an interview on the BBC’s North West Politics programme on Sunday, the current MP for Liverpool Riverside, Kim Johnson, said: “Louise Ellman was not forced out – she took a decision to resign for the party after 22 years as a Labour MP.”

Ms Johnson’s remark came in response to a comment made by the Conservative MP Chris Green, who spoke about “the clearing out of Louise Ellman and other Jewish Labour members”. 

Dame Louise hit out at her successor’s statement, tweeting: “Last year I documented how antisemitism in Liverpool Riverside CLP and in the party nationally forced me out. I’m appalled that the current MP denies what I experienced. This is gaslighting.”

Dame Louise served in elected political roles for 55 years prior to resigning from the Labour Party.

The former leader of Lancashire Council has written extensively about being “driven out by the ugly antisemitism that became normalised with the entry of the far-left following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader”.

The Board of Deputies has also condemned Ms Johnson’s comment and has called for Labour to act on the “denial and gaslighting” of former Jewish MPs. 

The organisation said: “We stand with Dame Louise. If Labour is to properly address the antisemitism within the party, it must become unacceptable for Labour MPs to engage in denial and gaslighting of this sort. 

“Minimising the problems of the past raises the risks of their recurrence in the future.”

Ms Johnson told the JC: “As a Black working class MP I have lived experience of racism; however my direct experience of being racially profiled was undermined and diminished by the Tory MP Chris Green... 

"I want to make it clear it was never my intention, in any way to attempt to negate Dame Louise Ellman's experience. As the MP for Liverpool Riverside - and the city's first Black MP - I have consistently been very vocal about and challenged all forms of racism, and will continue to speak out when I hear, see or experience it.” 

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