Labour MP who criticized Corbyn could lose her seat

Margaret Hodge, who confronted Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism in Labour, triggered for reselection contest.

Ben Ariel ,

Margaret Hodge
Margaret Hodge
Reuters

Dame Margaret Hodge, a veteran Labour MP and prominent critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, will have to run in a local primary to keep her seat after she was triggered for reselection contest by her local constituency party, The Guardian reported Saturday.

Hodge has served as MP for Barking in east London since 1994.

She is infamous for a row with Corbyn over anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. Last year, Hodge allegedly shouted at Corbyn, calling him an "anti-Semite and a racist" and adding, "You have proved you don't want people like me in the party."

Labour had considered action against Hodge following the confrontation but later dropped the investigation.

Under reformed Labour rules, a selection contest can be triggered if a third of local Labour branches vote in favor.

Responding to the reselection contest in a statement to the Huffington Post, Hodge said, “I am obviously disappointed. My priority remains serving the people of Barking as I have done for the last 25 years. At a vital time for the country, with a general election looming, we should be focusing our efforts on holding Boris Johnson and the Tories to account.”

“I will work to secure the full backing of Barking Labour party, so I can continue to play my part as their MP in doing that,” she added.

Mike Katz, the national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said, according to The Guardian, “Margaret Hodge has been a steadfast campaigner against racism, fascism and intolerance throughout her political life.”

“She saw off the BNP in Barking and has over the last few years been determined in her opposition to antisemitism within the Labour party. This is a shameful moment for a party which claims to embody the values of equality and diversity,” continued Katz.

“She has been the target of vicious smears, derision and anti-Semitism, because she has been resolute in her opposition to anti-Jewish racism,” he concluded.

Over the last several years, dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders.

Much of the criticism against Corbyn is over his playing down the anti-Semitism in his party and alienating Jews, but he insists he is not an anti-Semite and claims he has opposed it his entire life.




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