Tom Watson MP

Tom Watson MP

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Tom Watson MP

Tom Watson MP

Tom Watson is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East.

Tom Watson MP

My party is not living up to its commitment to have a zero tolerance approach to anti-semitism

This statement was issued by Tom Watson in response to Ken Livingstone's hearing

I find it incomprehensible that our elected lay members on the disciplinary panel found Ken Livingstone guilty of such serious charges, and then concluded that he can remain a member of the Labour Party.

When I read the words of Chief Rabbi Mirvis, who says that “the Labour Party has failed the Jewish community, it has failed its members and it has failed all those who believe in zero tolerance of anti-semitism”, I can’t disagree with him. I wish I could, but I can’t. I am ashamed that we have allowed Mr Livingstone to cause such distress.

It isn’t just Jewish people who feel disgusted and offended by what Mr Livingstone said and by the way he has conducted himself over this matter, and it isn’t just Jewish Labour members who feel ashamed of any indulgence of his views anywhere in the Labour Party. This shames us all, and I’m deeply saddened by it.

Mr Livingstone’s unrepentant media appearances in recent days have continued to discredit the party I love. His current behaviour is still bringing the Labour Party into disrepute. It is hard not to conclude that his use of inflammatory language to dismiss the fully justified outrage of the Jewish community and others will incite further distortions of the Holocaust in our public discourse.

My party is not living up to its commitment to have a zero tolerance approach to anti-semitism. I will continue the fight to ensure that it does, and I will press my colleagues to do so too.

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