Labour delegate’s “gas chamber” remark was “gratuitous and offensive”

Labour delegate’s “gas chamber” remark was “gratuitous and offensive”

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Sioux Blair-Jordan speaking during the Labour conference
Sioux Blair-Jordan speaking during the Labour conference

By Jack Mendel

A Labour delegate to the Party’s annual conference has been criticised for saying disabled people might as well “walk into the gas chamber” if the Government brings in a British Bill of Rights.

Speaking on Monday at Labour’s annual conference, Sioux Blair-Jordan, of the Colchester Labour Party, said she was sick of “being demonised” and blamed for the country’s problems, adding people who are chronically sick or disabled should be “seen as human beings”.

She also told the conference in Brighton: “We need the EU to uphold our human rights because if Cameron does his Bill of Rights we might as well walk into the gas chamber today.”

Ms Blair-Jordan also received a hug from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn following her speech, after earlier telling delegates: “I’ve met him a few times, he gives wonderful hugs.” 

A Labour party spokesperson responded by saying: “These views are not shared by the Labour Party.”  

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has promised to set out this autumn the Government’s proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act – which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights in British law – and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.

Following her address, Justice Minister Dominic Raab said it was “extraordinarily bad taste” for the Labour conference to applaud the comments. He is said to have added: “Jeremy Corbyn should apologise immediately for embracing rather than distancing himself from the delegate. It points directly to his unfitness to lead”, according to the Sun’s Westminster correspondent,

The Campaign Against Antisemitism told the Express: “Sioux Blair-Jordan’s reference to gas chambers was gratuitous and offensive.”

“Over six million Jews as well as others including the disabled were murdered during the Holocaust, many of them in gas chambers.”

“Many Jewish people in Britain have relatives who were killed in the Holocaust. The Labour Party should be condemning comparisons to the Holocaust like Blair-Jordan’s, but instead we saw Jeremy Corbyn hugging her warmly after her speech.

“Education about antisemitism and the attempted Genocide of Europe’s Jewish people is vitally important, especially as antisemitism is rising once again in many parts of Europe.”

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