Unacceptable tweet from Redbridge Labour

A letter of protest to David Evans after a totally unacceptable tweet was posted on the official online platform of the London Borough of Redbridge Labour Group.

To: David Evans, General Secretary and all members of the NEC

We write to draw your attention to the attached screenshot of an abhorrent tweet which appeared on the official online platform of the London Borough of Redbridge Labour Group on Sunday 29th November.

As local councillors, CLP and CLP-branch officeholders, and trade union delelgates we wish to express our sense of  outrage that such material should appear in any official party medium.  This outrage is shared by ordinary party members across the borough.

The islamophobic sentiment and hatred of the Palestinian people that drive the tweet, as well as the bigotry it reflects, are obvious.  It is nevertheless essential to call all this out for the hate-speech it is.

Our borough is home for many diverse communities, and this diversity is well reflected within the local party membership.  Tweets like this threaten to undermine the healthy state of community relations , unity within our party and wider population of the borough.  In electoral terms, the party alienates Muslim voters at its peril.

It is impossible to overstress the concern we feel over the fact that this tweet was shared on the borough Labour groups official platform.

Only a tiny number of individuals have the right to post material here, and the perpetrator must be one of these.  If any Labour Group officer(or officers) approved this posting then one  or all must  share culpability for it.  If they discovered the identity of the perpetrator after the event, it is their duty to formally report this person to the party’s disciplinary authorities.  If they have not yet identified the person, it is their duty to do so without delay.  Covering for the culprit by failing to identify and report him or her would constitute misconduct in itself.

Furthermore, the fact that a tweet of this kind was shared at all points to a failure on the Labour group officers to exercise proper control over the access to, and use made of, the platform.  They must be held to account for this failure alone.

The EHRC has recently found the Party guilty of racism in respect of actions of individuals deemed to be acting as the party’s ‘agents’.  Any individual who posts on — or has responsibility for the administration of — the official Labour group twitter account is without any doubt acting as the party’s agent.   The national party therefore bears  a legal responsibility for the appearance of this racist material and has an obligation to hold to account the perpetrator(s) of this misuse of a party platform and for allowing a situation to arise in which such misuse could happen.

We call on the General Secretary and the NEC to conduct a formal inquiry into the circumstance which gave rise to this whole affair.  We call for the full range of sanctions available to the Party — up to and including expulsion — to be used against those who may be found guilty of breaching party rules as a result of the inquiry.

A formal inquiry of this kind is essential if the Party is to live up to its commitment to show zero-tolerance towards  racism.  Inaction would leave the Party seriously vulnerable to accusations that it allows a hierarchy of racism  to operate in the way its affairs are managed.

Niroj Ravi – Chair, Newbury Branch
Isha Isidore – Chair – Seven Kings Branch
Abdul Rashid – Secretary – Seven Kings Branch
Wendy Taylor – Secretary – Cranbrook Branch
Barbara White – Chair – Cranbrook Branch
Isabelle Ercan – Women’s Officer – Ilford South CLP
Sean Clarke – Executive Member – Ilford South CLP
Cllr Ross Hatful – Valentines Ward
Cllr Mohammed Javed – Clementswood Ward
Cllr Rosa Gomes – Churchfield Ward
Danyal Aziz – Unite Union Delegate – Ilford South CLP
Chris Stone – Unite Union Delegate – Ilford South CLP
Zahra Awaleh – Unite Union Delegate – Ilford South CLP
Phillip Davonport – ASLEF Union Delegate – Ilford South CLP
Nicola Stavrinou – Unison Union Delegate

Comments (20)

  • Jacob Ecclestone says:

    What a scandalous thing to do. I hope Mr Evans and Comrade Starmer will redouble their efforts to tear out these vile beliefs in “Peace and Justice” . Let us hope that other innocent members of the party are not tempted to do anything so wicked. Congratulations to the signatories of this letter for their insight and appreciation of the dangers the party is now facing.

  • Martin Coleman says:

    Was this ever responded to or investigated/

  • Mary Davies says:

    disgusting tweet.

  • goldbach says:

    Five’ll get you ten that, despite their best efforts, they won’t be able to find who did it.

  • Anti-Palestinian/Arab racism is not an offence in the Labour Party. After all Luke Akehurst has just been elected to the NEC despite supporting Israeli snipers shooting unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

    That is the whole point of the ‘antisemitism’ campaign. Instead I suspect some of the signatories above may find themselves under investigation.

  • Martyn Meacham says:

    Evans must be removed, and along with Starmer, and the rest,otherwise Labour will continue to be not worth bothering with, let alone supporting or voting for!

  • Christine Ladyman says:

    If this is not addressed it will only add to the complete conviction I have..along with many others. …that this New New Labour care only about supporting Israel and discrediting anyone who supports Corbyn. This could be expose them to all.

  • John Noble says:

    Unfortunately Starmer has shown his colours in the last six months or so, shame really he might at least have tried to unite the party but his offer is as genuine as Doris Johnson’s oven ready deal, however Starmer’s approach is more deceitful and more harmful on account of the implied honesty in his sales pitch, it is unthinkable that such tweets would have been published under a Corbyn lead Labour Party.

  • John Hall says:

    What do they gain from such wicked lies? (It can’t just be done to keep the left down)

  • Robin Vyrnwy-Pierce says:

    If this tweet had shown even the very smallest hint of antisemitism Evans and Starmer would have suspended the CLP officials in totalis and probably most of the members as well.
    The tweet is another vile attack on a good man.

  • John Griffin says:

    The AS slur continues to be spread. Smeeth has been very active up here in the Midlands, and the line ‘you have no idea how widespread AS is in the Party (we do) is trotted out. I doubt Starmer or Evans will be ousted from Labour, as Labour is morphing into something else, in the absence of any semblance of democracy.

  • Les Hartop says:

    It’s a terrible tweet, that turns truth on it’s head and in typical Orwellian fashion identifies the victims as the guilty parties.

    But, is it really Islamophobic ?

    Are we unwittingly offering Evans and the rest of them the opportunity to say ‘Look, you agree, the tweet doesn’t mention Islam, but you rise up with one voice and say we should condemn it, and take action against the person who wrote it because they are Islamophobic by inference… Just like we have been saying that the word ‘Jewish’ or ‘Jew’ doesn’t have to be used for us (JLM etc) to condemn it and the person who said it as anti-Semitic.’

    The fact that the writer of the tweet believes that all violence in Israel has been instigated by Palestinians is quite possibly due to them listening to the BBC all their lives… The BBC always finishes any report by granting the Israeli military the last word, and saying the violence ‘follows’ or is ‘in response to’ something some Palestinians have done.

    The tweet itself is anti-Palestinian, but is not Islamophobic, and we open ourselves up to mirror image attacks by saying it is.

  • Mary-Ann Collis says:

    The posted tweet is appalling and whoever wrote it must be held to account. Corbyn never was, and is not, anti-semitic – he simply opposes the oppression of Palestinian people – by whoever might do that.

  • Diamond Versi says:

    I support the Momentum move to have the General Secretary elected by the members of the Labour Party. This would obviate the leader from making that choice.

  • William Johnston says:

    I have misgivings here.

    It’s a damned silly tweet, and unutterably childish. I can’t help wondering, therefore, whether this response risks espousing the same sort of “outrage” indulged in by our comrades on the right, and might be counter-productive. At the very least this will highlight something which does not deserve to be invested with so much energy.

    Maybe a message direct to Redbridge might have been more useful?

  • John Adrian Burns says:

    Expose who put this statement there and take appropiate disciplinary action.

  • Hanna Khamis says:

    The most astounding thing is the historical inaccuracy – never launched an attack? How about 1948, 1956, 1967, repeated attacks on Lebanon and, more recently, Gaza. That is not to mention the illegal ‘one-off’ attacks on Syria, Iraq and others.
    While I am on this, I can say this in complete safety as I am Palestinian. A Jewish comrade saying the same could well face suspension. For me, that is desolating and is the real antisemitism in our Party.

  • I agree with Les Hartop. Throwing in ‘Islamophobia’ without any evidence at all (based on what I see here), undermines the complaint and devalues the complainants for signing it. It’s ignorant and insulting to Palestinians to brand them all as Islamic – some 20% are of Christian heritage, for instance. Just as bad as stating that all Jews are Zionist or all criticism of Israel is antisemitic – an incorrect generalisation.

    Someone tweeted a factually inaccurate message from a Zionist perspective from the Redbridge Labour account and other members are angry and want to deal with it – fair enough, but think carefully about the arguments you use.

    You can’t credibly condemn the unfair actions taken against Corbyn and many on the left in your party and then call for the same methods to be used against another group.

  • Emma says:

    I wonder if any disciplinary action will be taken over this tweet??

  • Bernard Grant says:

    Please can the JVL publish any actions taken by Evans against the Redbridge member/s that posted the tweet or if no action was taken, thanks.
    I’m fed up with the bias of Evans and Starmer against the Left, especially those that support the Palestinians.
    Starmer sacked Rebecca Long Bailey on a Lie, calling it a conspiracy Theory that US police were being trained in Israel in crowd control.
    Here’s the link to prove it:-
    US police training in Israel.
    Where Do Many Police Departments Train?
    https://www.amnestyusa.org/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/

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