UK Labour party suspends activists twice in one year following Holocaust remarks

Vice-Chairmen of the pro-Corbyn Momentum organization was ousted from the Labour party Friday for her comments made during an antisemitism seminar.

October 1, 2016 12:20
2 minute read.
UK Labour member Jackie Walker

UK Labour member Jackie Walker. (photo credit: SCREENSHOT/ GOINGUNDERGROUNDRT YOUTUBE CHANNEL)

The vice-Chairmen of a hard-left political organization credited with propelling Jeremy Corbyn's successful campaign to lead the UK's Labour party in 2015 has been suspended by the party following controversial remarks she made on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Momentum's Jackie Walker was ousted by the parliamentary faction Friday after leaked footage, taken at a training event on antisemitism in Liverpool, showed her making controversial statements centering on the Holocaust, according to British daily  The Guardian.

In the footage, Walker can be heard questioning why Holocaust Memorial Day focused mainly on the Shoah while failing to acknowledge a wider expanse of historic mass murders.

“In terms of Holocaust Day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?” she can be heard saying in the recording.

Holocaust Memorial Day does in fact acknowledge a number of mass killings in recent memory, including Rawanda, Bosnia, Darfur and Cambodia, according to website.

Walker also stated that she hasn't "heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with,” and questioned why Jewish institutions throughout the UK required extra security protection from police. 

Following the suspension, Labour MP John Mann called Walker’s comments “unacceptable in a modern political party,” The Guardian noted.

While fellow Labour party exile, former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, came to Walker's defense, claiming that most people were unaware of other human atrocities besides those perpetrated by the Nazis.

“I suspect you’ll find the majority of people in Britain didn’t know the Holocaust Memorial Day had been widened to include others,” according The Guardian. “There’s a difference between ignorance and antisemitism.”

Walker subsequently apologized for the statements made at the antisemitism training event during an interview with England's Channel 4, adding she was simply curious as to why Holocaust Memorial Day does not acknowledge genocides that occurred before World War II.

Shortly following the incident, Momentum, which describes itself as a grassroots political organization that "exists to build on the energy and enthusiasm from the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign," said it expects to remove Walker from her position in the coming days.

This is not the first time Walker has been suspended by the Labour party for making controversial statements about the Jewish community.

Earlier this year, Walker was ousted from the party after claiming that Jews were “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade.” She was later reinstated after a Labour party investigation.


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