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Labour start disciplinary action over antisemitic posts on secret Facebook group joined by Corbyn

Labour forced to act after secret Facebook group containing notorious Holocaust deniers and antisemites is exposed in new report

    The Labour Party has confirmed that it has begun “disciplinary processes” after revelations about a secret Facebook group which contains Holocaust deniers and antisemites – and of which leader Jeremy Corbyn was also a member.

    The party was forced to take action after an investigation by researcher David Collier showed details of antisemitic posts and discussions on the Palestine Live group.

    Alongside Mr Corbyn, who became a member of Palestine Live in 2014 and left shortly after being elected Labour leader, other members include Shoah denier Paul Eisen and antisemite Gilad Atzmon, while Baroness Jenny Tonge, former Channel 4 presenter Paul Mason, Labour MP Clive Lewis and Mr Corbyn's son, Seb, were also shown to have joined.

    While there was no suggestion Mr Corbyn was aware of the extreme nature of some of the material shared by group members, a series of posts made in the Islington North MP's name were revealed in the report.

    In one comment, Mr Corbyn was shown to have praised Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and political activist who has claimed the 9/11 terror attacks could be blamed on “the politics the West has followed” and who also said he supported further terror attacks on America.

    In one Facebook post Mr Corbyn wrote: “Have huge respect for Dr Mads Gilbert and would be delighted to invite him to Westminster.”

    The Labour leader later suggested it would be “best” if the Palestine Solidarity Campaign group offered an invitation to Dr Gilbert.

    In another post, Mr Corbyn praised a pro-Palestinian event in a thread in which another member referred to “wayward Jews”.

    Among the raft of antisemitic material shown to have been shared by Palestine Live group members were websites promoting Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and a discussion on whether the BBC was under the control of Zionists.

    Other posts included members discussing whether they prefer the term “ZioNazi” to that of “JewNazi.” 

    The report also shows how Palestine Live administrators, including Tony Gratrex, former Reading Palestine Solidarity Campaign organiser, and Carol Foster, co-chair of the Greater London Branch of the Labour Representation Committee, regularly attempted to engage with Mr Corbyn and tried to secure his presence at events.

    In another posting, Jackie Walker, who is awaiting a Labour disciplinary hearing over allegations of antisemitism, was shown to have asked: “How safe is this group?”

    Elleanne Green, the founder of the group, responded: “Very…no one is allowed in who is not trusted…I am very very careful… and it is a secret group.”

    A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy condemns antisemitism in all its forms in the strongest possible terms. He does not want the support of antisemites, who have no place whatsoever in the labour movement.

    "This Facebook group is being investigated and if Labour members are found to have posted antisemitic material, disciplinary action will be taken."

    A Labour source confirmed that disciplinary processes have commenced.

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