The Labour Party has readmitted Terence Flanagan to the Party with a “final warning” after he claimed that Israeli secret intelligence service Mossad was behind a plot to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, and sent a message to members in which he said supporters of Israel were “polluting” the Labour Party.
The decision to readmit Flanagan was taken by the Labour Party at a national level and has caused consternation within Hampstead and Kilburn’s local branch of the Labour Party. All of the local Councillors, along with the area’s representative to the Greater London Assembly, Andrew Dismore AM, and the constituency’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, have issued criticised the decision.
Flanagan, a former worker at a print works said that he has been “vindicated” by the decision to readmit him. He now says he wants to stand for Labour at the Town Hall elections next year. He told the Camden New Journal: “It has been shown that the accusations against me were fraudulent. If I was racist or antisemitic, I wouldn’t have been allowed back in the Labour Party, and rightly so. But I’m not, and I am back in the Labour Party. There is no appeal process in the rulebook to get that warning off the record but I would dispute it being there, because I haven’t done anything wrong and Councillor [Phil] Rosenberg was wrong to make the accusations he did.”
In a statement, Chairman of the Hampstead and Kilburn Constituency Labour Party, Geoff Berridge, and its Secretary, Peter Taheri, said: “In the last few weeks, the Labour Party’s Disputes Committee has reportedly made a number of decisions (including in relation to at least one case in our [Constituency Labour Party]) on suspensions that have caused significant alarm in numerous quarters, not least, but by no means only, in the Jewish community. In addition to questions about the judgements themselves, there has been concern about the process, whereby those on the receiving end of abuse – and indeed, the local Labour Party itself – have had to learn about decisions through the local media and not through the Party’s official channels.
“This needs to be urgently reviewed. While we do not yet have full access to the facts and the reasoning behind any such decision, the absence of these would seem to be unacceptable and we will be writing to the Party’s General Secretary to ask for an urgent meeting to discuss and gain an understanding of this matter. In our local Labour Party, we expect nothing less than a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to antisemitism and we call on the Party nationally to give everyone the confidence that it shares this commitment equally. Where those returning from suspension are doing so on a formal warning for their past unacceptable behaviour, we intend to be rigorous in ensuring that any repeat offence will be dealt with speedily and strictly.”
Following Baroness Chakrabarti’s whitewash report into antisemitism in the Labour Party, the result of disciplinary decisions has been kept secret, so we only learn of outcomes that are revealed by local Labour Party members, or by those who have been disciplined.