Labour criticised over possible peerage for Corbyn’s ex-chief of staff
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Labour criticised over possible peerage for Corbyn’s ex-chief of staff

The co-chair of the all-party group on antisemitism, Andrew Percy, said Karie Murphy's role in dealing with antisemitism cases should bar her from the Lords

Andrew Percy MP
Andrew Percy MP

Labour’s nomination of Jeremy Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy to be elevated to the House of Lords has been criticised in the Commons.

The Sunday Times reported that in his dissolution honours list, the Labour leader is set to nominate his close colleague.

The co-chair of the all-party group on antisemitism Andrew Percy said Ms Murphy’s role in dealing with antisemitism cases should bar her from the Lords.

The Tory Brigg and Goole MP, who converted to Judaism, said: “It is wholly inappropriate that someone has been nominated from the party opposite to serve in the House of Lords who is at the centre of allegations… of covering up antisemitism and intervening in the antisemitism inquiries within the Labour Party.

“And I know that is a view shared by many members opposite, principally because the Labour Party has a proud history of fighting racism, all forms of racism.”

Former Labour minister Dame Margaret Hodge added: “I share with him the feelings he has about the nominations to the House of Lords and does he agree with me the only way that really will totally abolish antisemitism from the mainstream of all political parties is if the leadership and the collective leadership of those parties really have a zero-tolerance approach, not just in words, but in the actions they undertake?”

Mr Percy said MPs on both sides of the House had been responsible for antisemitic incidents and should be taken at their word when they apologise.

He said: “There are sadly a few former and a few current members of this House who have on occasion brought us into disrepute,” adding later: “We all need to own that, it doesn’t exist solely on one side of this place.”

Mr Percy said 400 MPs have signed up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, and urged others to do so.

He added: “We’re going to take on the problems of antisemitism wherever it is found in this country or indeed in this chamber in whichever party it exists.

“Some of the most successful cases are actually the quiet successes where we work with members and candidates actually to put proper education in place to ensure that colleagues who have erred and said things which are silly and in some cases offensive are educated.”

He continued: “We must take people at their word when they apologise for that – I would encourage anybody who has been guilty of that to work with us.”

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