Young Labour chair condemns ‘offensive’ tweets as 270 activists sign open letter

Young Labour chair condemns ‘offensive’ tweets as 270 activists sign open letter

The activists have signed an open letter demanding change after several "offensive, rude, and borderline antisemitic" messages were sent from Young Labour's Twitter account. 

Miriam Mirwitch
Miriam Mirwitch

Nearly 300 Labour activists have signed an open letter calling for change after  several “offensive, rude, and borderline antisemitic” messages were sent from Young Labour’s Twitter account, which were condemned by its Jewish chair.

“We demand a change to how the Young Labour social media portfolio is managed”, the letter reads, “to ensure that our collective reputation is not damaged by a select few who some could argue are actually damaging our party’s chances at getting into government, not helping it.”

Abdi Duale, a former Labour staffer and Young Fabians executive, shared the open letter, adding: “The Young Labour twitter account has been an absolute disgrace, Miriam and a handful of others have tried to keep it inclusive, but others on committee have time and time again sought to create divisions in our party”.

Young Labour drew criticism yesterday evening over a message sent from its Twitter account celebrating the resignation of an eighth Labour MP, who joined the Independent Group.

Miriam Mirwitch, the chair of Young Labour, has “utterly condemned” and denied sending the since-deleted tweet, which read: “Joan Ryan gone – Palestine lives”.

It was sent after the MP for Enfield North and Labour Friends of Israel chair resigned to join the breakaway group of independent MPs, over concerns Labour had become  “infected with the scourge of antisemitism” under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The tweet was quickly met with criticism, with Emily Benn, granddaughter of the late Labour MP Tony Benn, writing: “If those responsible for the Young Labour Twitter Output are really the future of the Labour Party, then The Labour Party is Doomed (and deserves to be)”.

Barnet Young Labour criticised the tweet in a statement, saying: “the vindictive and bullying nature of your tweets betrays Labour values and the YL Twitter does not speak in its name.”

The statement continues: “The now deleted tweet about Joan Ryan was a disgrace and it ought to shame this committee.

“We thank the Young Labour chair, Miriam Mirwitch, for doing everything in her power to promote inclusivity and for condemning these tweets.”

Mirwitch said: “This tweet is entirely inappropriate. I do not support it. I am strongly opposed to Labour splits, but the below is the incorrect response.”

The Young Labour chair said several members of the organisation have access to the twitter account, adding: “It doesn’t always represent my views or what I would choose to share from the account.”

She later said: “I’m privileged and proud to have been democratically elected by Young Labour members. The actions of a few on social media don’t represent the vast majority of activists.

“I’m not going to resign and I’m not going anywhere. I will fight for this movement and fight against hate.”

This comes a day after Young Labour came under fire after tweet put out by the organisation drew criticism for calling the seven resigning MPs “cowards” and “traitors”.

Mirwitch promptly condemned the “entirely inappropriate” tweet, which read: “Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer we’ll keep the red flag flying here.”

The song is a lyric from ‘The Red Flag’, the Labour Party’s anthem traditionally sung sung at party conferences and events by members and MPs.

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