The Guardian publishes JVL letter in defence of Jackie Walker

The Guardian publishes JVL letter in defence of Jackie Walker

The letter, signed by six members of Jewish Voice for Labour, defends Jackie Walker following her expulsion from Labour last week

Jackie Walker
Jackie Walker

The Guardian has published a letter signed by six members of Jewish Voice for Labour in defence of expelled Labour activist Jackie Walker.

The six signatories are Graham Bash, Leah Levane, Helen Marks, Jonathan Rosenhead, Glyn Secker, and Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi.

The letter, published yesterday, criticises the Guardian for reporting criticisms levelled at Walker as part of the newspaper’s coverage of her expulsion last week.

The letter criticises its report of remarks made by Walker about Holocaust Memorial Day as being “selectively edited”.

“What your report does not say is that the accusation against Walker was based on selectively edited (and widely misquoted) footage leaked from a session at which participants had the right to expect confidentiality,” the letter says.

“Not mentioned is Walker’s view, consistently explained, that Holocaust commemoration should also include victims of genocide that predate the Nazi era.”

Describing the IHRA working definition of antisemitism as “contentious”, it adds: “All of us raised objections to its use by the trainers, the pro-Israel Jewish Labour Movement.”

“Walker issued a statement ahead of her expulsion, describing the seriously flawed process that has allowed racist commentary on her person to form part of the evidence against her,” it continues. 

Walker was kicked out of the Labour Party over charges of making comments which were “grossly detrimental” to the party.

She was initially disciplined three years ago after saying “many Jews were chief financiers of the slave trade”, before being readmitted after an investigation and suspended again in 2016.

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