Metropolitan Police officers have begun a criminal investigation into examples of antisemitic comments made on social media by Labour members, with a view to prosecuting.
A dossier of evidence of unknown origin was handed to Police Commissioner Cressida Dick by LBC Radio in early September, just hours before Labour’s National Executive Committee met to debate the adoption of a new antisemitism definition.
At the time, Dick said she would hand it to her experts to see whether crimes have been committed, and now the force has said a criminal investigation has begun.
“The complainant alleged that the documentation included evidence of antisemitic hate crimes,” a Met spokesman said.
“The contents have been examined by specialist officers. A criminal investigation has commenced into some of the allegations within the documentation. Early investigative advice is being sought from the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Among the 45 comments flagged as concerns, one read: “We shall rid the Jews who are cancer on us all… Zionist extremist MP who hates civilised people about to get a good kicking.”
In another, a serving Labour councillor is accused of inflicting “ten years of hell” on a child, calling him a “Jew boy”. In another, the prison sentence for a former Auschwitz guard is described as “a travesty of justice”.
Mak Chishty, who formerly dealt with hate crime for the Met police, told the radio show that he had reviewed the dossier and felt 17 should have been reported as a race-hate incident for investigation, and four warranted a criminal investigation.
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said Labour had been “dragging their heels,” adding that it “clearly contributes to the complete lack of confidence that the Jewish community has in the way Labour is dealing with these”.
Board of Deputies Vice President Amanda Bowman said: “This comes as no surprise to us. There is a deeply embedded culture of antisemitism in parts of the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn has done close to nothing to address it, to the extent that some cases may now even meet a criminal threshold. We have repeatedly set out what Labour needs to do, including taking firm disciplinary action against antisemites and making its opaque processes transparent. Jeremy Corbyn must also apologise for his personal failings to confront racism.”
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