Former MP Luciana Berger revealed she received “threats of acid attacks and rape”, as well as abuse levelled directly at her Jewish background while still a member of parliament, as the EHRC report into Labour antisemitism was published today.
Speaking on The Emma Barnett Show on Radio 5 Live, Berger – who went on to join the Independent Group and Lib Dems following her Labour departure, described the findings of the EHRC report as “damning”.
Berger, who has exited politics for the timebeing, said: “It’s a very emotional day, it comes after a very tumultuous time. I had to take the decision to leave 18 months ago, a decision I never anticipated I had to make.
“The antisemitism permeated the Labour Party from the top right to the very bottom.”
She said instances of antisemitism “happened in plain sight, they didn’t happen behind closed doors. I’m talking about threats and abuse”.
She condemned the fact that in 2018 threats were made against her life, but “the party failed to inform myself or the police”.
Berger added her former members of “staff were on the receiving end of the toxicity of abuse levelled towards me from Labour supporters, including threats of acid attacks and rape.”
Saying that leaving was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make” she is “looking forward now.”
She added: “I’m hoping the Labour party can do what it can to rehabilitate and restore itself.”
When asked if she’ll rejoin, the former MP said: “We’ve just reflected on an incredibly tumultuous few years. My focus now is on my family, my friends and my new job. It’s been a very, very difficult time.”
Following Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension for saying concerns over antisemitism were “dramatically overstated”, Luciana Berger told Sky News he “should have shown contrition and acceptance of the hurt caused and the emotional impact”, and it was the right decision.
“These finding have placed a legal duty on the party to make urgent improvements. This was the darkest period in the party’s history, but the former leader once again chose to pass the buck.”
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