Baroness Tonge specialises in baiting Jews, as we have been reminded in recent months by her renewed antisemitic statements.
We welcome Baroness Tonge’s suspension from the Liberal Democrats in response to complaints from Campaign Against Antisemitism and others, but Party Leader Tim Farron must now procure Baroness Tonge’s long-overdue expulsion from the Party.
Baroness Tonge’s ongoing membership of the House of Lords and the Liberal Democrats is a disgrace to both institutions. It is indefensible that the Liberal Democrats withdrew the whip in 2012 over her antisemitic remarks then but have allowed her to remain a Party member since. Her latest remarks have caused multiple complaints to her Party, including from Campaign Against Antisemitism, and the departure of at least one senior Liberal Democrat, but so far the Party has simply defended her. Each day that Mr Farron allows people like Baroness Tonge and former MP David Ward to remain in the Party leads more Jews to wonder quite how serious the Liberal Democrats are about fighting antisemitism.
The Liberal Democrats must now act decisively to purge their Party of high-profile antisemites and ensure that this cannot happen again by adopting our manifesto for fighting antisemitism in political parties as backed by the Home Affairs Committee.