Dame Margaret Hodge reselected in Barking seat

Dame Margaret Hodge reselected in Barking seat

Veteran Jewish MP tweeted a picture of herself surrounded by colleagues, with a one word message: Victory!

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge has been re-selected by her local Labour Party to run for the seat of Barking.

Dame Margaret tweeted a picture of herself surrounded by colleagues, with a one word message: Victory!

Her Labour colleague Ruth Smeeth (Stoke-on-Trent North) raised a point of order in the Commons to announce that Dame Margaret had been re-selected.

Ms Smeeth, parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “I just want to put on record the fact that Margaret Hodge, the honourable (member) for Barking, has been re-selected this evening, against an appalling attack by members of our party and I am delighted she remains a Labour candidate at the next general election.”

The Jewish Labour Movement commented: “We’re delighted that Margaret Hodge has been re-selected with an overwhelming vote of confidence from her local party in Barking. However, the fact that this vote took place is a sad reflection of the state of the Labour Party, where an accomplished Jewish Parliamentarian is triggered in the first place.”

The Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl tweeted: “Congratulations to Margaret Hodge on her emphatic reselection. Trolls who opposed her reckoned without Margaret’s strength & popularity. Not lost on anyone that Labour’s so-called ‘anti-racist’ leader missing in action as his drones tried to force out another Jewish MP”

Labour had been accused of antisemitism when Dame Margaret Hodge was told she would face a re-selection battle in her east London constituency, which she’s held since 1994.

An outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn, on one occasion Dame Margaret told Mr Corbyn to his face that he is an “antisemite and racist“.

Dame Margaret was forced into the re-selection fight after activists in her constituency voted for the chance to pick a new candidate.

At the time, Labour’s former deputy leader Harriet Harman said she was “dismayed more than I can say” by the vote.

She tweeted: “Margaret Hodge, scourge of tax avoiders, racists and antisemitism. Champion of progressive policies. Hyperactive local MP. Surely this cannot stand!”

Dame Margaret was the second Labour MP to be “triggered” through the party’s new ballot procedures which make it easier for local members to force a contest.

She said at the time that she was “disappointed” but would fight to keep her Barking seat.

Last week, during the Sir Martin Gilbert Memorial lecture, David Miliband told the audience: “As long as Margaret Hodge is in the Labour party fighting to uphold the best of the Labour tradition, I feel it’s incumbent on me to be there as well”.

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