The Redbridge branch of Momentum has said it was hacked after a Twitter account under its name was accused of making “crude comments” about Jews.
In the tweet, a user calling itself Redbridge Momentum wrote: “if Jews want Labour to adopt a nonesence [sic] decleration [sic] that associates criticism of the racist apartheid state of Israel with antisemitism. then let them be p***** of [sic]. the rest of the world can see through the nonsense.”
The group later denied that the tweet was official, writing: “We are aware of a fake Redbridge Momentum account… tweeting offensive material – most recently around the anti-Semitism definition.”
It added that the user was “not a real Momentum account, not controlled by Redbridge Momentum… Have reported to Twitter and Momentum HQ”.
The group has defended the Labour Party’s new code of conduct on anti-Semitism, despite calls from Jewish community representatives that the party adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition.
Before the denial of responsibility, Board of Deputies’ vice-president Amanda Bowman said the group “demeans itself with its crude comments about Jews,” adding: “We call on @PeoplesMomentum nationally to take action against whoever is tarnishing their brand with these embarrassing rants.”
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting described Redbridge Momentum’s Twitter accounts as “Pythonesque,” adding: “It would be far easier to work out what’s what and who’s who if they didn’t operate under a veil of shadowy secrecy and anonymity”.
In January, Redbridge Council unanimously adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, but a Redbridge Momentum account – or one purporting to be – has previously written that if “the Sikh community or Muslim community came up with a definition like the Jews it would be laughed at”.
Last week Momentum founder Jon Lansman wrote in The Guardian defending Labour’s new code of conduct, adding that Jewish community representatives had wanted the party “to simply reproduce the IHRA working examples word-for-word”.
He said: “Far from lowering the bar for what constitutes anti-Semitism, this code lifts it. It requires a higher standard of behaviour than the IHRA examples do. Labour’s code should be seen as the new gold standard.”