An adviser to Jeremy Corbyn who blocked the suspension of a Labour member arrested last month on suspicion of inciting racial hatred against Jews has been made head of complaints.
Jewish News understands Laura Murray has been appointed head of complaints for Labour and will oversee complaints made about antisemitism as part of her job.
Labour MP Margaret Hodge tweeted: “If this is true, it is both mad and deeply insulting.
“After a bogus hiring process a Corbyn staffer & ally has seemingly been gifted the job of Labour Head of Complaints.”
She added: “Meddling in complaints by the Leader’s office has already been exposed.
“This decision only reaffirms why I have absolutely no trust in the existing complaints process. We must have an independent system now.”
Emails leaked to the Sunday Times last month revealed that Murray overruled a recommendation by party officials to suspend Patricia Sheerin
Sheerin, 72, from south London, was questioned by Scotland Yard on suspicion of “publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred”, the Sunday Times reported.
Murray halted the ban after it was pointed out to her that Sheerin had already received a warning over past misconduct unrelated to antisemitism.
A JLM spokesman said: “Given the levels of political interference from the Leader’s Office, including Laura Murray, into complaints revealed recently, personally, this is the last thing that will restore confidence in a broken and corrupt system.
“If Labour was really interested in building trust with its Jewish members and voters and tackling anti-Jewish racism, it wouldn’t have gone for this shoddy quick-fix. It would have agreed to what JLM and the Jewish community has been demanding- a fully independent, properly resourced system.
“Without taking such a clean break from the current failed system, it is hard to see how Labour and Jeremy Corbyn will tackle the institutionalised crisis of antisemitism in the Party.”
A Labour Party source said: “Our recruitment processes are open, fair and designed to find the best person for the job, and that’s what happened in this case.”