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Dany Louise canvassing with james Bacon in last May's local elections. Both were elected.

Dany Louise canvassing with James Bacon in last May’s local elections. Both were elected.

Councillor resigns from Labour over antisemitism concerns

Cllr Dany Louise this week resigned from the Labour Party, citing a “huge rise of antisemitism amongst the Party membership.” However she says she will remain a local councillor sitting as an independent. Nick Terdre reports.

Cllr Dany Louise’s decision to leave the Labour Party reflects at local level dissatisfaction with the party leadership which today led seven MPs to resign from the party over its handling of Brexit and allegations of antisemitism.

For Cllr Louise, who represents Old Hastings ward and is herself Jewish, the burning issue was antisemitism. In her resignation letter on Wednesday 13 February she said, “It is with regret and some relief that I am today resigning from the Labour Party.

“Under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell it has become a welcoming environment for antisemites. Despite numerous calls for the leadership to deal with antisemitism in the Party effectively, unequivocally, and speedily, they have failed to do so over a period of several years. Antisemitism remains not just tolerated within the party, but it seems, actively encouraged.”

She described as “disgraceful” the treatment of Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree and one of the seven resigners, whose supporters say she has been subjected to antisemitic abuse, and Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, who called the party leader an “antisemite and a racist.”

She criticised the process of dealing with allegations of antisemitism involving party members by the party’s National Constitutional Committee as lacking transparency and leaving “many unanswered questions regarding the number of cases and the criteria used to judge them. This and the culture encouraged by the leadership makes the Labour Party institutionally antisemitic, in my own and others’ opinion…

“While this leadership remains, I cannot campaign for Labour in the next general election. I believe they are unfit for high-office.”

DL in council 350

New position: Cllr Dany Louise, back to camera, sitting in a new place between Tory Cllr John Rankin, to the left, and Labour Cllr Trevor Webb, to her right, at full council last week following her resignation.

Wave of resignations

She also referred to claims that large numbers of disillusioned members are leaving the Labour Party. “Apparently 6000 people a month are resigning their Labour Party membership. I am both saddened and relieved to be in their company.”

Tory Cllr Andy Patmore made the same point, telling HOT that “Labour members are resigning in their droves because the overwhelming conclusion is, the Labour Party has a shameful tolerance of antisemitism within its ranks. The Jewish community, Councillors and MPs will not stand by and stay silent and I’m sure more will leave.”

However, Cllr Louise does not spare the Tories either. “Neither can I vote for an antisemitic government,” she wrote. “I won’t vote Conservative and I am therefore disenfranchised along with many thousands of other people.”

She told HOT she would see out her term, which ends in May 2020, as an independent. “I am committed to continuing to work hard for all my Old Hastings constituents, and to represent the ward in Council to the best of my ability for this period.”

Views unchanged

“I have been a Labour voter all my life, and my views are unchanged in terms of wanting to see a rebalanced economy and a significantly fairer society that values every citizen,” she said. Cllr Louise was elected last May with 726 votes, narowly ahead of the Greens’ Julia Hilton with 697.

She declined to respond when asked if she knew of instances of antisemitism in the local party, but Cllr Peter Chowney, Labour’s parliamentary candidate, told HOT he knew of “No evidence of anti-Semitism in the local party, there have been no complaints made about any members of our local party that I’m aware of, and I’ve not heard any anti-Semitic remarks expressed at party meetings.

“I’d like to see Labour handling complaints about anti-Semitism more swiftly, and making sure its disciplinary procedures are fair and robust,” he added. ”The Labour Party general secretary, Jennie Formby, has undertaken to do this, and I’ve every confidence that she will.”

Last August Cllr Louise welcomed the council’s decision to refuse an attempt by the Flamingo amusement park owner to take control of the footpath running between the park and the boating lake through a certificate for permitted development.

She had been due to speak at the meeting of the planning committee in September which was due to consider a full application to subsume the footpath within the amusement park but the matter was deferred and has yet to return to the committee.

 

Posted 16:48 Monday, Feb 18, 2019 In: Politics

16 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Mr. C. KINGSLAND

    I find it rather telling that this organ is happy to publish articles about Palestine by Jill Knight – an individual well known to JLM, Labour against antisemitism, and likely the Police, yet when an ex Labour member supplies details of racism in the local party, you require it counter signed in triplicate…..?
    – it’s no great surprise, as you have Ms .Lever and of course Ms.Levane swirling around both in your team, and with JvL ( now affiliated) with Hastings Labour)
    -Dany Louise entered the council race with no idea that JvL were so instrumental in the local party, but it was a key part of her decision ( I know that, because I asked her, but don’t take my word )
    I know your low readership renders the issue less important, and you are careful to aire on the legal side when the drip drip of your agenda bleeds through the useful event listings etc. but many others know exactly what is happening; the local party has lost a vast bulk of its support, as has the Corbyn led national party. The game is up I’m afraid .
    I dare say this one will be censored too, yawn .

    Comment by Mr. C. KINGSLAND — Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 @ 11:48

  2. Ivor Fried

    Sad to see that Cllr Louise has felt obliged to resign from the Labour Party. I’m sure this is not something she would do without very good cause as she was so keen to work as part of the Labour team. – The vast majority of Labour members, councillors and MPs are, of course, decent people without any trace of racism. That said, there was a huge influx of new members in and around 2015, which meant that there were insufficient resources to vet them all thoroughly. As a result, some have entered our party from political fringes where what Jeremy Corbyn has called the “socialism of fools”, i.e. antisemitism, is still prevalent. The party is working to eliminate this virus. Regrettably, however, there are still those in the party that see any accusation of anti-Semitism as a disguised attack on the present leadership. That is a serious error which could wreck the party. All factions of the party have worked together in the past to achieve our common goals of social justice and we must now do so again to rid ourselves of this infection.
    I wish Cllr Louise well and hope the day will come very soon when she can once again feel welcome in the Labour Party .

    Comment by Ivor Fried — Friday, Mar 1, 2019 @ 18:23

  3. Jonathan Hoffman

    The Al Jazeera programme was a joke which revealed nothing

    http://hurryupharry.org/2017/01/14/al-jazeera-%E2%80%98lobby%E2%80%99-voyeurism-for-antisemites/

    The JPR survey was massively flawed

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jpr-anti-semitism-survey-open-goal-for-corbyn/

    CAA Research shows antisemitism in Labour is far above any other party.

    You can have your own opinions but not your own facts.

    Comment by Jonathan Hoffman — Monday, Feb 25, 2019 @ 21:22

  4. Rachel Lever

    As the originator of HOT I am especially shocked and disgusted at the reporting of this matter. There are several HBC Labour Councillors who are Jewish and who I believe would give a very different view and who are NOT RESIGNING from Labour for any reason, let alone for its alleged “antisemitism”.
    Why don’t you ask them? We have watched this accusation against Corbyn and Labour being carefully constructed and professionally orchestrated until it now sits as established fact, amply illustrating Mark Twain’s pithy comment that “a lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting his boots on”.
    The concerted attempts to take down Jeremy Corbyn are partly because he is a socialist and partly because he has stood up for the human rights of Palestinians and against the brutality of a world that ceaselessly goes to war for a host of bad reasons. But I believe they are primarily motivated by hatred and fear of a politician who is a good man and who puts people and human rights above realpolitik. This, and the millions of us that it has inspired, are the major threat to the whole political system.
    Any reporting that takes this “antisemitism” myth at face value and which quotes, again at face value, the calumnies against Labour and Jeremy Corbyn is lazy and, quite frankly, immoral. Sorry, Nick Terdre, but this is deeply disappointing.

    Comment by Rachel Lever — Monday, Feb 25, 2019 @ 15:04

  5. Bolshie

    Back again on this issue and still waiting for some details from “PJ” on what evidence there is on this “Israeli conspiracy they have cited in their comment. Come on PJ, I asked you politely for some evidence what could be simpler than that. If you do not post anything to confirm this claim, I will have to consider it to be a false rumour. That is fair enough isn’t it. After all if you make categorical statements such as that you must be able to provide the evidence to support what you are telling us.
    A local staunch Labour party friend of mine is also telling me there is a propaganda campaign against the party and Corbyn has and I quote, ” the media moguls and the Conservatives behind this issue.” So I guess these MP’s and a couple of councillors who have resigned must be getting brown envelopes to front all their personal anti-Semitic claims.
    Can anyone, just anyone apart from PJ come up with some evidence of these allegations -please

    Comment by Bolshie — Saturday, Feb 23, 2019 @ 19:38

  6. Ms.Doubtfire

    Shocking to see there are those who remain in denial over the growing anti semitism within the labour party – also probably in denial over Corbyns meeting with terrorists in the past when he attended the memorial service for the Black September terror group.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Friday, Feb 22, 2019 @ 10:16

  7. Bolshie

    Referring to the “PJ” comment on this article. As he/she certainly appears to know this is a fact that Israel is behind the conspiracy to destroy the Labour party / Corbyn et al.
    Can you please provide us readers with actual solid undisputable evidence of this please.
    I note this claim was bout up by Ruth George a Labour MP a couple of days ago. Then within a couple of hours she apologised and said she got it all wrong.
    So “PJ” who is right here you or Ms George

    Comment by Bolshie — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 15:25

  8. Laurance Edward

    Dany Louise gives no examples of antisemitism in Hastings nor in the local Labour Party. Which is not surprising seeing that the “levels of antisemitism in Great Britain are among the lowest in the world” according to “the largest and most detailed survey of attitudes towards Jews and Israel ever conducted in Great Britain” by the Jewish Policy Research. The JPR noted that where there is antisemitism, the problem comes from the extreme right. A recent YouGov poll showed not only that antisemitism in Labour has actually reduced dramatically since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, but also that antisemitic attitudes are far more prevalent amongst Tory supporters than amongst Labour supporters. So what’s going on here? Perhaps someone’s telling porkies.

    Dany Louise refers to Luciana Berger. She, along with most of the recently resigned Labour MPs are members of Labour Friends of Israel. One of these MPs, Joan Ryan, was caught in the undercover film ‘the Lobby’ (referred to by Paul Burns, below) negotiating a £1 million gift from the Israeli embassy. She was also filmed manufacturing a case of ‘antisemitism,’ which was later thrown out.

    So perhaps we should hear less of this manufactured ‘antisemitism’ witch-hunt. And get to the bottom of what’s really going on, that is, the Israel lobby desperately trying to justify the actions of the apartheid state, its occupation, its ethnic cleansing and its perpetual breaches of international law – and in the process libelling any of its critics as antisemitic. https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2017-01-08/how-many-british-mps-are-working-for-israel/

    Comment by Laurance Edward — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 12:52

  9. cllr michael edwards

    While I have every sympathy for Cllr Dany Louise in her fall out with the Labour Party over the growing anti-Semitism in that Party, I must take exception to her suggestion that this present government is in any way anti-Semitic. It is scrupulously not anti-Semitic. In the many years of my association with the Conservative Party I have never heard anything which could suggest otherwise, it is simply not an issue. Meanwhile is very clear the Jennie Formby investigation is a feeble sticking plaster trying to cover a gaping flesh would. Cllr Louise is not dis-enfranchised, she would be welcome to join us in fighting the 2020 Borough election in the Old Town.

    Comment by cllr michael edwards — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 10:00

  10. Paul Burns

    Apologies, I included the wrong link for the Al Jazeera undercover programme about activities to undermine British politicicans sympathetic to Palestinians.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby/

    Comment by Paul Burns — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 09:45

  11. Paul Burns

    Anti-Semitism is vile and needs to be opposed wherever it occurs like every other form of discrimination. It is appalling that there have been instances of it within the Labour Party. It is a matter of conern if formal complaints have been ignored by officials. However, I have not seen the evidence for this.

    What I am aware of is that in fractious large organisations the handling of complaints of many different kinds is slow. For example, I am aware of complaints within the Labour Party related to transgender issues that have progressed very slowly.

    Having said that, I am aware that there has been a tendency for some people to conflate opposition of policies and practices by the Israeli state with anti-Semitism when the people protesting are often endorsing views and statements made my Jewish groups within Israel concerned about the treatment of Palestinians and lack of progress towards a peaceful solution.

    More than that, there is video evdidence that the Israeli government has supported campaigns against people in this country who are critical of that country. This included not just Labour politicans but also the Conservative MP Sir Alan Duncan because he has supported the creation of a Palestinian State.

    Yes the Israeli governement later apologised. What else could it do after being caught on camera with its pants down?

    The apology is reported in the Isreaeli paper Haaretz – https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-embassy-rep-caught-discussing-taking-down-british-mps-1.5483066

    I recommend that people view the current allegations where no paritcular evidence has been produced in the light of the undercover TV programme that investigated how British citizens (and Mr Masot of the Isreali Embassy in London) work to damage people who express concern and sympathy for the Palestinians. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/09/ofcom-clears-al-jazeera-ntisemitism-expose-israeli-embassy-official

    Complaints were made to OFCOM that the Al-Jazeera programme was Anti-Semitic. OFCOM rejected these complaints. Their findings included:

    “Complainants considered that the programme only took a one-sided view on this matter.” https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/09/ofcom-clears-al-jazeera-ntisemitism-expose-israeli-embassy-official

    I ask people to remember that Israel and its supporters are engaged in a propaganda war. Part of that war is about making life difficult for individuals and organisations sympathetic to the Palestinians. Another part is creating the impression that oppostion to Israeli policies is inevitably linked to anti-Semitism.

    I ask people hearing of allegations of Anti-semitism to look at whether formal complaints have been made and the evidence in support of them. And for anyone who directly hears slurs agaisnt Jewish people to speak out and oppose them.

    Comment by Paul Burns — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 09:38

  12. PJ

    Pure antiCorbynism. The Israeli attempts at destabilising the Labour Party are working out really well. These people are just pawns in their game. Shame on them. I hope Dany Louise loses her seat. She doesn’t deserve to keep it.

    Comment by PJ — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 09:10

  13. Brendan O’Sullivan

    When you say anti semitism do mean that someone is anti Jewish ( which is wrong) , or someone who is critical of the treatment of people of Arab descent?.

    Comment by Brendan O'Sullivan — Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 @ 01:42

  14. Ann Kramer

    I personally would like Dany Louise to provide chapter and verse specifics of anti-semitism incidents that she has experienced locally. Anti-semitism is ugly and obviously needs to be stamped out but I do not believe it is any more rife within the Labour Party than anywhere else, and in my view, probably less. Personally I have not encountered anti-semitic attitudes or comments within the local Labour Party, in fact quite the reverse.

    Comment by Ann Kramer — Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019 @ 22:42

  15. Ms.Doubtfire

    Councillor Dany Louise will be missed – her resignation is a great loss to Hastings. Along with colleagues, she has made a stand against the repugnant anti semitic thread which seems rife within the Labour party and it is high time our leader Peter Chowney stood up and publicly questions Jeremy Corbyns apparent reluctance to control this element within his party. Instead of rolling out the red carpet next time this man visits, perhaps Councillor Chowney would let him know he is not welcome here.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019 @ 09:01

  16. Bolshie

    This was a brave move on Councillor Louise to go this far and make it quite clear to the local and of course national Labour Party, how the radicals in this rather distasteful political group has to cease period.
    What has been going on in this party, if I am correct, is not too dissimilar to how the Third Reich became a controlling party and look what that led to.
    What really irks me is how this party has maintained that anti-Semitism did not exist within its ranks. Remember the 2106 report by that Chakribati woman who was the director of Liberty commissioned by Jeremy Corbyn. Where she exonerated the party of any active anti-Semitism and out of that became a Baroness.
    Any other Jewish Labour councillors prepared to follow her step to stand up and be counted.
    And yes I am Jewish so you can all say how biased I am.

    Comment by Bolshie — Monday, Feb 18, 2019 @ 20:21

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