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Emma Barnett invites hate abuse tweeter for Shabbat dinner

"I don’t have Friday night dinner every week, but obviously for him I would pull out all the stops. There will be roast chicken"

    Emma Barnett, the broadcaster, has invited a Labour Party member who tweeted antisemitic abuse at her for Shabbat dinner.

    Ms Barnett said she had extended an open invitation to the activist “to disabuse him of the idea I’m a ‘Zionist shill’.

    She told The Times: “The offer is open — as long as I can record it. I don’t have Friday night dinner every week, but obviously for him I would pull out all the stops. There will be roast chicken.

    The tweets were sent after Ms Barnett conducted an interview with Jeremy Corbyn on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour in June during the general election campaign.

    The Labour leader was left red-faced after he was unable to answer Ms Barnett’s question on how much his pledge to provide free childcare would cost.

    Following the broadcast, Ms Barnett was the target of abuse on social media, with a number of people claiming to be supporters of Mr Corbyn keen to point out her “Zionism”.

    One social media account, called @Labour_Insider, tweeted her, saying: “BREAKING NEWS.  Allegations have surfaced that @Emmabarnett is a Zionist. Are the allegations true Emma”.

    At the time the “Labour Insider” account was attached to a blog of the same name set up by Phillip Jones, a Labour Party member.

    Mr Jones denied sending the tweet himself but was reportedly suspended by the party pending an investigation.

    Ms Barnett told The Times she had tweeted an “open invitation to @labour_insider (who has blocked me) to a Friday night dinner at my house-as part of my new @bbc5live show”.

    She said: “I’m quite addicted to finding out why people think what they think and not just being offended. We’re living in an age of apologising not for views, but for being caught. I want to understand why you had those views in the first place. I don’t really care about your apology.”

    She added: “I’d like to cure his antisemitism. He was suspended by Labour after his tweet below re my Corbyn election interview. Gauntlet laid in today’s @thetimes.”

    The former JC columnist described the antisemitic and misogynistic abuse she had received from supporters of Mr Corbyn following the Women’s Hour interview.

    She said:  “The bulk of the ‘love’ I get is misogynistic. I was more aggrieved by the antisemitism. It got so bad that day that Jeremy Corbyn himself said it was unacceptable the abuse I was receiving.”

    “It did shock me to see. It was going nuts that day. It was the antisemitism I was really cut by, struck by.”

    Ms Barnett, 32, is to take over from Adrian Chiles as the presenter in the prime time slot on Radio 5. The show will run from January each morning from Monday to Thursday.

     

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