Momentum activist sparks anger by trying to play down racist attacks on Jews

Sandrine Siraju-Kasongo, who is pictured alongside Jeremy Corbyn in campaign literature, said 'I can sit on a train with a Jewish person and no one would know they were Jewish unless you asked them'



At a packed election hustings on Monday night, a Labour activist who appeared alongside Jeremy Corbyn on the party’s election campaign material tried to play down racist attacks on Jews, sparking angry scenes.

Camden Momentum member Sandrine Siraju-Kasongo was applauded by left-wing supporters after she claimed she was “deeply offended and hurt” by the debate around antisemitism and suggested that Jews escaped racial abuse because “no-one would know they were Jewish unless you asked them”.

Ms Siraju-Kasongo was photographed alongside Mr Corbyn for Labour’s social media campaign ahead of last month’s first ITV election debate in an image that included the slogan: 'Bring People Together, Don't Divide Them'.

But the JC has learned that the same activist was the subject of a complaint to Labour’s compliance unit after she tweeted: "jews and white christians are killing people everyday [sic]."

Her latest outburst took place on Monday evening  at a hustings event held at UCS Hampstead for the Hampstead and Kilburn seat, with Labour candidate Tulip Siddiq, Liberal Democrat Matt Sanders, Johnny Luk from the Conservatives and the Green Party's David Robert Stansell.

In response to a question about how the candidates believed their party should respond to issues involving all forms of racism, Ms Siraju-Kasongo, who was in the audience, intervened after Ms Siddiq tried to apologise for what she said was her party’s “painful” reaction to antisemitism.

Ms Siraju-Kasongo said: “Everybody looking at me in this room can tell I am a black woman. I don’t have to tell anybody that. I’m a Labour member and I would join Tulip in apologising for the hurt that’s been caused to the Jewish community.

“As a black woman I feel deeply offended and hurt and upset of the fact that I can get on the train and abused racially purely because of the colour of my skin.”

She then added: "However I can sit on a train with a Jewish person and no one would know they were Jewish unless you asked them. 

She said "the media" and "your party", as she pointed to the Tory candidate, "have all weaponised antisemitism.”

As Labour members applauded her, others objected, pointing out that a Jewish person had been subjected to an unprovoked verbal attack on the London Underground last month.

Lib Dem candidate Mr Sanders was quick to raise an objection to the remark and spoke of encountering countless Jewish constituents, including a tearful 70-year-old woman, who had voted Labour all of their lives but were unable to do so with Mr Corbyn in charge.

In further ugly scenes, Conservative candidate Mr Luk was forced to point out that he himself was of Chinese descent and had experienced racism as he was being attacked for being a member of  the Tory Party and Ms Siddiq said Boris Johnson “is a racist”.

Ms Siddiq, who is battling to regain the north London seat, failed to criticise the Labour leader over his neutral Brexit stance and declined to comment when one audience member suggested Mr Corbyn was weak, which was cited as a reason for the antisemitism issue persisting in the party.

The JC was later shown evidence that Ms Siraju-Kasongo had previously been the subject of a complaint about her conduct.

In 2017, she tweeted: "jews and white christians are killing people every day [sic]."


The message was sent after a terrorist killed two people in France in a stabbing attack in September that year.

When approached by the JC over the tweet, Ms Siraju-Kasongo refused to comment.

When asked to comment, Ms Siddiq said on Tuesday: "As a Vice-Chair of the APPG Antisemitism, I would never downplay antisemitism in the Labour Party or otherwise and I reject any attempts to do so.

"Antisemitism is evil and I am fully committed to fighting the corner of my Jewish constituents. Any tweet, article or attack on the Jewish community is clearly abhorrent."

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