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Anger as Diane Abbott repeatedly dismisses Labour’s antisemitism crisis as ‘a smear campaign’

Ms Abbott repeated a claim on Twitter that people were flocking to join Labour because they were "disgusted" by the "constant smearing of Jeremy Corbyn"

    Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott
    Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (Photo:Getty Images)

    Diane Abbott sparked anger today after it emerged she had dismissed the Labour Party's on-going antisemitism crisis as a "smear campaign against Jeremy" on at least two separate occasions this week.

    The JC  has learned that Ms Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, "ranted" about what she said was an orchestrated attack on Jeremy Corbyn in a meeting of her shadow Home Office team earlier this week.

    On Tuesday, after discovering that some of her comments had been revealed by shocked colleagues to outsiders after the team meeting, Ms Abbott launched a further bid to discover who had repeated them.

    One source said: “Diane could not have made her feelings any clearer on how she believed antisemitism was being used as a smear on Jeremy in the meeting.

    "The most surprising thing was that she was surprised people who were in the team meeting spoke about them afterwards.

    "A few people were angry with how she spoke in the meeting."

    But in another open display of her thoughts, Ms Abbott yesterday retweeted a message on Twitter which claimed people were flocking to join Labour because they were "disgusted" by the "constant smearing of Jeremy Corbyn”.

    Twitter user Katie Curtis was so angered by Ms Abbott's actions she wrote on the social media site: "Shocking to see the Shadow Home Secretary retweeting a tweet that is both a lie & is perpetuating the myth that the fight against antisemitism is a smear. 

    "This is the person who will be in charge of hate crime in the next Labour government!"

    In May 2016, Ms Abbott, the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP said on the BBC's Andrew Marr show that it was a "smear against ordinary party members" to suggest "that the Labour Party has a problem with antisemitism”.

    In a statement to the JC Diane Abbott said: "No-one who was at the meeting could accurately suggest that I dimissed the accusations of antisemitism. On the contrary, I reported to the Home Affairs team the discussion of the earlier Shadow Cabinet. There was unanimity in both meetings to take antisemitism with the utmost seriousness and determination to tackle it head-on. Any other suggestion is false."

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