The Labour leader of Haringey Council has announced her decision to stand down over rampant antisemitism and sexism in the local party. After ten years as leader of the Council, Claire Kober told The Times that she could no longer remain in her post due to the extreme hatred that had been subjected to and witnessed. Councillor Kober will stand down when local elections are held in May.
Councillor Kober, who is the most senior Labour woman in local government, cited a number of factors including the involvement of Labour’s Momentum faction in bullying, sexism and the decision to block a flagship housing project, but she said: “The levels of antisemitism I’ve seen in the Labour Party are just astonishing. The only thing I see that’s worse than sexism in the Labour Party is antisemitism.”
Recalling an incident in which Councillors were threatened for proposing to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, Councillor Kober said: “I was met with this wall of sound. Many of them Labour Party members screaming, shouting, howling, trying to stop me speaking.” When the motion was passed, one voice was heard shouting: “We will see you at your Constituency Labour Party.” Labour Councillor Joe Goldberg tweeted that he was threatened by fellow Labour Party members.
Councillor Kober was particularly disgusted however when a Momentum-backed candidate told a Jewish Councillor that “you will have more time to count money” after the local elections in May. Councillor Kober’s attempts to have him disciplined or expelled were rejected by the hard-left faction.
Echoing the sentiments of other Labour Councillors who have resigned over antisemitism, Councillor Kober said: “Antisemitism is tolerated within the Labour Party. That Ken Livingstone is still in the Labour Party I find inexplicable.”
We commend Councillor Kober for her principled decision and for speaking out, however we find it utterly abhorrent that the Labour Party, Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition, has become a place where even senior figures who wish to see antisemitism punished are intimidated and hounded out of the Party.