'Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has stepped up his criticism of Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism in the party by backing calls for automatic exclusion of members accused of anti-Jewish racism.
He also warned the Labour leader he was determined to call out the problem every day until the introduction of meaningful reforms also including an independent system for handling complaints of antisemitism.
John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has called on the BBC to carry out an investigation into complaints made by Labour about the Panorama report into antisemitism in the party.
“There have been complaints put in to the BBC now. I think the BBC should investigate those and then we can come to a conclusion,” he said. “What we have got is ex-staff making accusations against existing staff and those existing staff have challenged those complaints, so it does need an objective look at.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, Watson urged Corbyn to immediately introduce changes including automatic exclusions and said the Labour leader was the only person who could tackle the problem.
“Jeremy has the votes on our NEC [national executive committee]; if he willed it, it would happen … Not only do I think he can fix it, I think he’s the only one that can fix it, he said.
“I am not going to turn a blind eye to anti-Jewish racism, I’m going to call it out day in day out until action is taken. And that might cause very great difficulty for my colleagues in the shadow cabinet, who are also collectively responsible for this. But until we’ve dealt with it, until we’ve actually changed our rules, until we’ve actually attacked the culture at its root cause then I’m not going to resile.”
Watson said he deplored the way in which the leadership had responded to claims from whistleblowers that attempts to deal with the problem had been undermined by senior figures in the party.'
Read more: Zionist and Israeli puppet Tom Watson backs automatic exclusions over Labour antisemitism
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