Jewish MP demands ‘zero-tolerance’ of abuse after sharing death threats

Dame Margaret Hodge
Dame Margaret Hodge (PA Wire)
15:47pm, Thu 19 Nov 2020
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Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge has said a zero-tolerance approach is needed towards anti-Semitic abuse after she was sent death threats online following criticism of ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The 76-year-old veteran politician shared some of the vile abuse she has been targeted with, including death threats and anti-Semitic accusations she was a “member of a rich & powerful Jewish dynasty” and “evil personified”.

She said: “This abuse is not normal. This is why zero-tolerance matters. This is why people have to take responsibility for their actions.”

It comes after Mr Corbyn was reinstated as a Labour member three weeks after he was suspended over his response to a scathing Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report.

However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has refused to allow Mr Corbyn back into the parliamentary party.

Dame Margaret, the parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, has been an outspoken critic of Mr Corbyn and suggested she would have left the parliamentary party had Sir Keir readmitted him.

The EHRC report came after years of complaints over how allegations of anti-Semitism were dealt with by Labour under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Dame Margaret had a heated exchange with Mr Corbyn about his handling of anti-Semitic allegations in the party as he left the Commons chamber in 2018.

After Dame Margaret shared the abuse she has received, a number of fellow Labour MPs voiced support for her.

Wes Streeting

Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips said: “Love to Margaret who is, amongst others in the Jewish community, the actual victim of all this.”

Shadow schools minister Wes Streeting added: “Unconditional love and solidarity for Margaret. What I’ve found most disconcerting this week is that, in addition to this vile abuse, people who are meant to be serious – former MPs, NEC members etc – have seen fit to troll Margaret and even demand her silence. They’re no better.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, labelled the abuse “despicable”.

She said: “Even though I am familiar with all this, seeing it here – all together – it still shocks. And it still hurts. There are no words to describe this hateful and ignorant abuse targeting Margaret Hodge. Just despicable.”

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