Suella Braverman, Priti Patel, Ben Bradley, Jacob Rees Mogg, even Michael Gove - all veered rather too close to the anti-Semitism line, or even crossed it. But the tsunami of condemnation that crashed over Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership would not do the same to The Blue Team. Now has come a string of anti-Semitism accusations made towards both Labour and Tory in the Cambridgeshire city of Peterborough.
As Jewish News has reported, “Both the Labour and Conservative parties in the city of Peterborough have been rocked by serious allegations of antisemitism amongst members”. So what action is being taken? “Labour have moved to suspend at least 14 individuals, including at least SEVEN councillors, from both the Peterborough and North Cambridgeshire CLPs”. And what about the Tories? Any action there?
“The Tories are facing calls to act over allegations made against at least three local members, who are either sitting councillors or candidates … Andrew Percy, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism (APPGAA) told Jewish News he had asked for their ‘immediate removal’ from the party”. But were any of the three even suspended?
Well, not as such. “A spokesperson for Peterborough Conservatives added they ‘utterly reject antisemitism.’”. However, “Jewish News has also learned of growing concern amongst communal leaders about the failure of the Conservative Party to act over allegations of antisemitism within local parties across the country … ‘In quite a few cases, investigations into allegations involving Tory Party members appear to drift into a black hole,’ said one senior figure within the community”. That’s most revealing.
It would, at least, show consistency: the “drifting into a black hole” could equally be applied to the Tory response to exposure of Islamophobia among its membership. And what is worse is that some of those who might have been expected to pick up on this issue and pursue the Tories on the subject have so far been absent from the scene.
For instance, there is no sign of the Tories’ inaction on the Twitter feed of the Jewish Chronicle. Equally absent from the scene is the feed of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, although the latter includes a signposting to an article telling “A Conservative candidate in the coming local elections has reportedly expressed remorse over a social media post that included the phrase ‘Jew Boy’”. No condemnation, then.
Anyone could form the impression that allegations of anti-Semitism against Tories “drift into a black hole” because no-one is on the party’s case. I’ll just leave that one there.
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