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The Labour Party stands accused of trivialising racism after a suspended member accused of anti-Semitism was invited to a recent fundraiser with prominent left wing figures.
Sitting in front of a ‘refugees welcome’ flag and around a table of champagne bottles, the meeting in Liverpool included Derek Hatton, militant ex leader of Liverpool City Council. Previously banned from the Labour Party for being a member of a Trotskyist group, the hard left millionaire had a disastrous reign leading the city council, a price many feel the city is still paying for today. Mayor Joe Anderson in 2013 told the Liverpool Echo that the loans taken by the council were ‘ToyTown’ and a better deal could be offered by Wonga.com.
Anderson sat next to Hatton at the meeting.
Hatton was accepted back into the Labour Party last month, but was then suspended within 48 hours after anti-Semitic material appeared on his social media pages, calling into question the Labour Party vetting process. Also in attendance were recently made peer Baroness Chakrabarti, close friend of Jeremy Corbyn who headed the investigation into anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. Len McGluskey, general secretary of Unite and Richard Burgon, shadow lord chancellor also attendant the function.
Last month Luciana Berger, the Jewish MP for Wavertree in Liverpool felt compelled to leave the party due to the amount of anti-Semitic abuse received from far left activists within the Labour Party. The champagne welcome for Hatton will do little to convince her that the decision to leave was ill founded, and she may well feel it is a further sign that the racism problem isn’t taken seriousl enough.
When the Head of the Met Police, Cressida Dick, announced a police investigation into Labour members many thought the party approach might change. But with just 2% of the hundreds of complaints concluded, it appears Labour is doing little to shake the ‘most racist political party in the UK’ tag many now give it.