The Labour Party is “institutionally antisemitic in its processes, its attitudes and behaviour and we ignore this at our peril”, Luciana Berger has claimed.
Ms Berger, who quit Labour to join the Independent Group on Monday, spoke out against her former party’s “shameful record” during a Commons debate on antisemitism in modern society.
The MP for Liverpool, Wavertree who previously described her family’s history of experiencing antisemitism through the centuries, said: “We have gone backwards, we have not seen the progress we should have seen over the course of the past 11 months.”
She argued: “It was my political home for nearly 20 years until I resigned from the Labour Party on Monday where I have seen obfuscation, smears, inaction, denial, every step of the way.”
Six or seven individuals, she noted, had been convicted of “antisemitic inspired hate crimes and threats” against her, adding: “There is a significant amount of antisemitism which might not reach the criminal threshold but has surfaced.
“I have been subject to thousands of messages of antisemitic abuse and hate.”
Ms Berger shared with MPs the “range of terms” seen in the last week which she said ranged from the “ridiculous to the truly disturbing”, including “Zionist lizard” and “traitor to my country”.
She recalled members of the British Jewish community taking to Parliament Square to say “enough is enough when it comes to antisemitism”, adding: “It was against the Labour Party, a political movement which is supposed to pride itself on the values of equality for all and anti-racism against all.”
She went on: “You couldn’t make up the catalogue of events that have shamed the Labour Party since that happened.
“The countless cases of individuals…cases that have been dropped those cases that have not been responded to.”
She claimed: “This is a shameful record, let alone from a leadership and political party that seeks the highest office in our land and that’s why I have arrived at the sickening conclusion that the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic in its processes, its attitudes and behaviour and we ignore this at our peril.”