MPs Condemn Leave.EU Tweet on Labour Antisemitism
Anne Perkins, Guardian, March 29, 2018
MPs have issued a formal protest over an Islamophobic tweet by the Leave.EU campaign that implied Labour could not be bothered to deal with antisemitism because there were more votes in supporting Muslims.
“Is it any wonder that Labour can’t be bothered to deal with the disgusting antisemitism in their party when they are so reliant on the votes of Britain’s exploding Muslim population? It’s a question of maths for these people, not justice!
“Support us at https://t.co/ntwXbJeHQw pic.twitter.com/klQoCIzxYF
“March 29, 2018”
The all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims, co-chaired by the Conservative MP Anna Soubry and the Labour MP Wes Streeting, has strongly protested.
“This tweet is thoroughly distasteful and offensive. It is also nothing to do with leaving the EU.
“It is however proof that Leave.EU is a front organisation for a far right group that is more interested in spreading hatred and creating division than upholding British values of respect and tolerance.”
Streeting, who has been at the centre of the effort to make Labour tackle antisemitism in the party more aggressively, said: “Muslim and Jewish communities will be disgusted by this cynical attempt to stir up hatred and division. Muslims and Jews know what it is like to experience prejudice based on their race and religion and will stand together against this type of rhetoric.”
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham who has been abused on social media for supporting Jewish constituents at Monday night’s protest against antisemitism in the Labour party, has reported the tweet to the Metropolitan police.
He said the tweet was a crime under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, which bans the “use of threatening words or behaviour, or any written material which is threatening or intends thereby to stir up religious hatred”.
The tweet has also been condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Damian Green, the Conservative former first secretary of state, tweeted:
“Damian Green (@DamianGreen)
“I hope any Conservatives involved with https://t.co/O6VJ2wszdV now withdraw. Worst kind of dog whistle. https://t.co/2JFwYAYVo2
“March 29, 2018”
Leave.EU was founded by the Brexit campaigner and Ukip backer Arron Banks and the property tycoon Richard Tice. Banks said the organisation was a deliberate effort to get away from the Westminster bubble and build a cross-party campaign.
The campaign was responsible for the “breaking point” referendum poster heavily criticised as Nazi propaganda, which showed images of Syrian refugees and implied they were “flooding Europe”.
Its Twitter feed is laced with offensive comments attacking the Brexit process and seeking to establish a narrative of betrayal.