Vicki Kirby, then Labour’s candidate for Woking, was suspended from the Labour Party in 2014 following a string of antisemitic tweets. Now it seems that she has not simply been reinstated by Labour, but appointed as Woking’s vice chair. This news comes at a time when Labour faces particular scrutiny over the way it deals with antisemitism following the (brief) readmittance of Gerry Downing and allegations over antisemitism in Oxford University’s Labour Club. Earlier today Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, responded to Kirby’s reinstatement on LBC:
I simply can’t understand how or why someone who has expressed these sorts of views has been allowed to remain a member of the Labour Party at all … frankly if this was any other form of racism she would have been kicked out … I’ve had messages from Party members who’ve cut up their membership cards, I’ve had constituents in Ilford North write to me asking what on earth is going on with the Labour Party, is there still a place for Jews in the Labour Party.
Although he points out that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t personally involved in these decisions, Streeting warned that ‘Jeremy really needs to be proactive at this stage’. He added that he is currently in Berlin attending an international event on antisemitism and confessed that it ‘feels to be honest pretty embarrassing being a British Labour Member of Parliament at this conference.’