The leader of the UK’s largest trade union, Unite, has claimed that the Labour Party’s ongoing antisemitism crisis is only a problem due to “right-wing media” supposedly exaggerating the issue.
Mr McCluskey made the comments last week during a speech for the Resolution Foundation, according to the Daily Telegraph.
A major ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Mr McCluskey was reported to have said: “Let’s not kind of highlight too much division as though it’s a problem. It’s a problem because the right wing media try to make it a problem. That’s why we’ve had all the stuff flowing around about misogyny and antisemitism in the Labour Party to try and create an image that the Labour party is somehow a toxic party.”
Following the speech, Mr McCluskey tweeted: “The media try to create more of a division than there is in our movement. @UKLabour the biggest party in Europe. Of course, there will be a range of views. But we deal with each other in a respectful manner and accept the majority view #newpolitics @resfoundation”.
One of Mr McCluskey’s rivals within Unite was previously attacked as a traitor by Diane Abbott for stating that the Labour Party had a problem with antisemitism.
In September last year, soon after Campaign Against Antisemitism published a database of antisemitism in political parties, which laid bare the disproportionate problem within the Labour Party, Mr McCluskey told the BBC that antisemitism in the Labour Party is merely “mood music” designed to “undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership” and that people who allege it have been “playing games”.
At the time we called upon Mr McCluskey to apologise or resign, but such is the atmosphere in the Labour Party that Mr McCluskey felt no pressure to do either.