On 19 December 2018, I sent a letter to the Jewish Chronicle, correcting some serious errors in their reporting. As they have not yet published a correction, I am posting the full text here. I might add that the Labour Party’s NEC did not accuse me of bringing the party into disrepute but rather suggested that the tweets had the potential to bring the party into disrepute.
I write to express my concern at a misleading article you published about me on your website on December 19.
Contrary to your report, the Labour Party has NOT blocked my parliamentary candidacy because of tweets “about Hitler and the ‘Zionist sympathies’ of a Jewish MP”.
In fact, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party refused to endorse me because of some tweets which I posted long before I stood for selection as a candidate for South Thanet, in which I questioned the use of antisemitism allegations as a political tool against the left. This was in no way to suggest that antisemitism doesn’t exist in the Labour Party. It is possible for two things to be true at once – for antisemitism to exist and for accusations of antisemitism to be used as a political weapon.
I should also point out that, in my meeting with the NEC, I presented endorsements from a Jewish member of the Labour Party, a respected rabbi and a distinguished Jewish Oxford University academic specialising in the subject of antisemitism, who all vouched their support for me against these baseless allegations, which I intend to fight with every means at my disposal.
Your publication does your readers a great disservice by not providing this context. I am not antisemitic, and I will take the strongest action against anyone who presents me as such.