Labour frontbencher sacked for ‘comparing Corbyn’s leadership to last days of Hitler’

‘To compare the Labour leader and Labour Party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible,’ spokesman says

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 17 July 2019 22:36
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Baroness Hayter sacked as minister over 'deeply offensive' comments about Corbyn

Labour’s deputy leader in the Lords, Baroness Hayter, has been sacked from her post as a shadow Brexit minister as the party’s row over antisemitism has deepened further.

A spokesman said she had been removed from her frontbench position ”with immediate effect for her deeply offensive remarks about Jeremy Corbyn and his office”.

He added: “To compare the Labour leader and Labour Party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible, and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.”

The row erupted after an address Baroness Hayter, who remains the party’s deputy leader in the Lords because it is an elected position, gave to a Labour fringe group.

The peer was highly critical of the Labour leader’s inner circle who she claimed had refused to give the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) key information.

Baroness Hayter said those around Mr Corbyn had a “bunker mentality”.

She told a meeting of the centre-left Labour First group: “Those of you who haven’t [read the book] will have watched the film Bunker, about the last days of Hitler, of how you stop receiving into the inner group any information which suggests that things are not going the way you want.”

Her firing came less than 24 hours after more than 60 Labour peers took out an extraordinary newspaper advertisement, accusing Mr Corbyn of failing the “test of leadership” and claiming he had been unable to defend Labour’s ”anti-racist values”.

The party is no longer a “safe place”, they warned.

The full page advertisement in The Guardian claims that he has prompted the resignation of “thousands” of members due to a “toxic culture you have allowed to divide our movement”.

It adds: “After initially defending the racist mural in east London you admitted being unable to recognise that it was antisemitic because you didn’t look closely enough.”

The peers also accuse Mr Corbyn of not having “opened [his] eyes” or “accepted responsibility” for the row which has engulfed the party.

“We can’t be a credible alternative government that will bring the country together if we can’t get our own house in order,” the advert says. “Your failure to do the right thing will lead to the failure of the Labour Party being able to make our country a better place for the people and communities we seek to serve.”

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“You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values,” it adds. “You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”

Responding to the advert, a Labour Party spokesperson said Mr Corbyn “stands in solidarity with Jewish people”, adding: “Regardless of false and misleading claims about the party by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics, Labour is taking decisive action against antisemitism.

They added: “Jeremy Corbyn has made clear in interviews, videos and and articles that there is no place for antisemitism in the party. Jennie Formby [general secretary] has sped up and strengthened procedures and the rate at which cases are dealt with has increased more than four-fold. Since September 2015, the number of cases that have undergone disciplinary procedures relate to about 0.06 per cent of members.”

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