Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has questioned if a top QC appointed to deal with Labour’s anti-Semitism cases is the right man for the job “given apparent sympathies for Jeremy Corbyn’s world view”.
The parliamentary group was reacting to Gordon Nardell’s appointment as Labour’s in-house counsel and his later endorsement by an activist being investigated for anti-Semitism, but Labour defended Nardell as being “highly respected” and “bound by professional standards”.
Elleanne Green, a moderator of the Palestine Live Facebook group, which contained several anti-Semitic messages from members, tweeted her support for Nardell, describing him as “a non-Zionist Jew” and “a brilliant mind”.
She also described the long-time Labour supporter as “a man I like and trust”, but LFI queried his suitability for overseeing the legal aspects of Labour’s disciplinary backlog, many involving allegations of anti-Semitism.
In reference to Nardell’s left-wing political views, an LFI spokesman said: “We are concerned that, given his apparent sympathies with Jeremy Corbyn’s world view, far-left associations and the endorsement he has received from those behind the appalling Palestine Live Facebook group, Mr Nardell may not be best placed to oversee the effort to rid the Labour party of anti-Semitism.Swift and tough action against the many anti-Semites who appear to have made Labour their home will help to dispel those concerns.”
A Labour source told Jewish News: “Gordon Nardell is an eminent and highly respected QC. He will continue to be bound by his professional standards and obligations of the Bar Standards Board Code of Conduct.”