Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, gives a speech at the EEF National Manufacturing conference, in London, Britain, February 19, 2019.
(photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's chief political adviser Andrew Murray intervened in a case in which a Labour member faced suspension over an antisemitic comment, according to the Jewish Chronicle, using an email outside of their servers so as to avoid scrutiny.
A "bombshell email" showed him offering advice to stop the investigation in the case of Max Tasker's suspension for denying that the Tower Hamlets mural of Jewish bankers was antisemitic. He did so using an email address belonging to Unite the Union, the British-Irish trade union.
"I am not sure about this one Sam," Murray's email read. "His more offensive comments seem to predate his [Labour Party] membership, and if people disagree about the mural in a way this not in itself [antisemitic], I would think that investigation without suspension at this stage may be sufficient."
Tasker has in the past written tweets claiming that there is a connection between Israel and ISIS, as well as accused Labour party members leaning more towards Center of "taking a bung from the Israeli government."
Murray did overrule the suspension, arguing that disagreeing about whether the mural was antisemitic or not was not antisemitic in itself. Corbyn famously attempted to defend the antisemitic comments on the mural as well.
The email was sent to Labour's head of complaints and Andrew Murray's daughter, Laura Murray, as well as Corbyn's chief of staff Karie Murphy and Labour's director of communications Seumas Milne.
"It would appear that discussions of many Labour antisemitism cases have taken place on email addresses linked to Unite the Union," one senior Labour source told the Jewish Chronicle. Several Labour party members are related to the union, including Murphy and general secretary Jennie Formby.
The same source said there is "a whole raft" of antisemitism cases in which Labour members are involved in which the party's leaders discuss the issues using email addresses belonging to the trade union.
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) may need to broaden their investigation into antisemitism within the Labour Party following these most recent developments. They may demand the union give the emails over as evidence. "We have the power to compel the Labour party to disclose relevant information to us," the EHRC said.
The Jewish Labour Movement's national secretary Peter Mason confirmed that they would be submitting over 100 witness testimonies to the EHRC on antisemitism in Labour.
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