Chuka’s Blatant Briefing Backfires

“Allies of Chuka” texted friendly members of the Lobby last night with the same tenuous line: that the Tories had blocked him from the Home Affairs committee chairmanship because they fear him as a potential future Labour leader. You’ll rarely get a more transparent and less believable briefing. Guido recalls a senior Labour figure a few years back explaining to hacks at Ed Miliband’s Christmas drinks party that Chuka would never be leader because everyone in Labour despises him. Whatever he’s spinning, the truth is Chuka is so unpopular with his own colleagues in the PLP he never stood a chance of winning the Home Affairs gig…

H/T Matt Chorley/Sam Coates

Corbynistas Back Anti-Semitism Row MP For Home Affairs Chair

Days after the Home Affairs committee published its anti-Semitism report, Corbynistas have named an MP embroiled in multiple anti-Semitism rows as their choice for its next chairman. Paul Flynn has next to no chance of winning, but the decision by five Shadow Cabinet ministers and other top Corbynistas to sponsor his vanity bid has infuriated colleagues. In 2011 Flynn was condemned for suggesting the British Israeli ambassador Matthew Gould had “Jewish loyalty”. More recently Flynn said Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis was “wholly untrue”. Those backing him include Clive Lewis, Ronnie Campbell, Richard Burgon, Andy McDonald, Dennis Skinner, Nick Smith, Cat Smith, Kelvin Hopkins, Rachael Maskell, Carolyn Harris and Margaret Greenwood. If Paul Flynn had been in charge of the Home Affairs anti-Semitism report, fair to say its conclusions would have been somewhat different. MPs are very angry about this…

Corbyn Condemned By Home Affairs Anti-Semitism Inquiry

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Jeremy Corbyn has been strongly condemned by the Home Affairs Select Committee for failing to understand anti-Semitism and creating a “safe space” for racists in the Labour Party. The inquiry’s damning findings are laid out in as severe language as you will ever see from a select committee:

“Despite his proud record on fighting racism, the Committee is not persuaded that Mr Corbyn fully appreciates the distinct nature of contemporary antisemitism, and the fact that it is perfectly possible for an ‘anti-racist campaigner’ to express antisemitic views. His lack of consistent leadership on this issue has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people, exacerbated by the Party’s demonstrable incompetence at dealing with members accused of antisemitism.”

Much of the committee’s evidence is based on stories published by Guido, its report references this site’s revelations on Naz Shah, Salim Mulla, Vicki Kirby, Seumas Milne and others. The committee also reserves criticism for Shami Chakrabarti, describing her own anti-Semitism inquiry as “compromised” and questioning its independence. The report concludes Labour is now “an unwelcoming place for Jewish members”.

There is also strong condemnation of Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats’ dire response to anti-Semitism, following Guido’s stories on former MP and current LibDem councillor David Ward:

“We were disappointed by the manner in which their Leader, Tim Farron, referred to disciplinary processes rather than explicitly condemning antisemitic remarks made by members of his Party, and we were surprised to learn that Cllr David Ward remains an elected representative of the Liberal Democrats, despite his repeated antisemitic comments… He denied that Cllr Ward was a “repeat offender” and said that it was “very tricky” to judge whether an individual has been antisemitic or “just provocative and offensive”.”

Questions for Corbyn, Shami and Farron to answer…

Home Affairs Chair Runners and Riders

RUNNERS

So who will replace Vaz as Home Affairs select committee chair? It will be a Labour MP, so it’s the most influential job any exiled moderate is going to get for a while.

  • Chuka Umunna – Is running. Doesn’t have it in the bag though, he isn’t popular with Labour MPs who think he’s slippery and it’s worth remembering Tory MPs get a vote too. He’ll have a job wooing them.
  • Yvette Cooper – A more popular choice. Would have the remnants of the old Brownite machine behind her, which still has sway with the PLP even if they are impotent among the party. Tories might back her too.
  • Caroline Flint – May run if Yvette doesn’t. Has an almost Vazian approach to offering her opinion on every issue around via press release.
  • Fiona MacTaggart – Tipped by the Staggers as likely to win the support of Labour’s female MPs. One of the richest MPs, she is worth millions.
  • Owen Smith – The select committtee’s election is not until October. By which time Oily won’t be doing much.

Not much point in the Corbynistas putting anyone up. Chuka has a fight on his hands, the mood among Labour MPs is that they want a woman…

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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