Baroness Tonge disinvited from health panel over a ‘number of issues of concern’
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Baroness Tonge disinvited from health panel over a ‘number of issues of concern’

Anti-Israel peer stopped from speaking at Wellcome Collection's event over worry it would "be sidetracked" by antisemitism row

Baroness Tonge
Baroness Tonge

Baroness Jenny Tonge was disinvited from speaking as a panellist at an event on women’s health at a medical institute in London earlier this month.

The anti-Israel peer, a qualified GP who resigned from the Liberal Democrats in 2016, had been due to speak at the Wellcome Collection on 4 October by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). 

In Tonge’s medical practice she has specialised in women’s health, and the event was designed to raise awareness on global inequality in maternal healthcare, but the LSTM rescinded her invitation as a panellist two weeks before the event, after “a number of issues of concern” were raised. 

LSTM director Professor Janet Hemingway told Jewish News this week that there was “external concern” that a successful debate “would be side-tracked by public questions related to the extensive antisemitic issues linked to the Labour Party that were dominating the UK media at the time of the event”.

The peer has made a series of controversial comments about Israel in recent years, resigning the whip in 2012 after refusing a request from Nick Clegg to apologise and withdraw her comments about Israel “not going to be there forever”. 

Hemingway said she was “delighted that Baroness Tonge attended the event,” adding: “She met with me and I explained LSTM’s reasoning for the decision and expressed our regret that it had resulted in withdrawing her panel invite.”
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