Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has said those “bullying” Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger “bring disgrace to the Party that I love.”
Berger is due to face a no-confidence vote from members of her own local Labour group on February 17.
He spoke during a debate on an amendment to a bill proposed by Theresa Villiers under Parliament’s 10-Minute-Rule, seeking to remove a time limit for returning Nazi-looted art.
Jewish News understands that Watson made the decision to speak in the debate last minute, in order he could personally speak out against bullying and in support of his colleague, Luciana Berger.
The amendment seeks to extend the legal time allowing museums to return objects taken from Jewish owners during the Holocaust.
Watson told MPs: “And as we unify and commit to support this Bill, let us not forget our honourable colleagues on both sides of the House, the subject of death threats, the subject of racist abuse, the subject of misogynistic abuse, the subject of bullying and antisemitism.
“And as the Deputy Leader of my Party let me say to the honourable colleagues facing that abuse, and in particular my friend and comrade the Member for Liverpool Wavertree, that she has our solidarity, our support, as she battles the bullying and hatred from members of her own local Party. They bring disgrace to the Party that I love.”
Watson also praised Theresa Villiers for bringing the bill to the house, adding “there is a wider symbolism to the House being united around it.”
He said: “It’s borne out of a commitment to oppose antisemitism in all its forms, wherever it exists, in every institution, and requiring a zero tolerance response.