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ELECTIONS: Tower Hamlets political leaders condemn anti-Semitic tweet by Labour activists turning up in Isle of Dogs

PUBLISHED: 10:15 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 20 April 2018

John Biggs and rival Rabina Khan express disgust and outrageat anti-Semitic tweet after addressing  packed Citizens UK election hustings at the People’s Palace. Picture: Mike Brooke

John Biggs and rival Rabina Khan express disgust and outrageat anti-Semitic tweet after addressing packed Citizens UK election hustings at the People’s Palace. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Political leaders campaigning in the Tower Hamlets council election campaign have come out in condemnation against an ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet by Labour party activists in the name of the Momentum group.

Thumbnail image of Labour's Jeremy Corbyn with the 'TH Momentum' imprint.Picture source: TH Momentum tweetThumbnail image of Labour's Jeremy Corbyn with the 'TH Momentum' imprint.Picture source: TH Momentum tweet

Two of the candidates running for mayor including Labour’s current mayor last night condemned the personal attack on Tory Opposition group leader Peter Golds.

The tweet on Wednesday used his surname “Golds” across a picture of the Isle of Dogs urging activists to “boot out” the Tory leader which was taken as an anrti-Semitic attack and reported to police as “hate crime”.

John Biggs, fighting for a second term as mayor, and his main rival Rabina Khan both expressed disgust and outrage after addressing last night’s packed Citizens UK election hustings at the People’s Palace in Mile End.

“It was insensitive and wrong and I was angry about it,” Mayor Biggs told the East London Advertiser afterwards.

Citizens UK election hustings at People's Palace in Mile End. Picture: Mike BrookeCitizens UK election hustings at People's Palace in Mile End. Picture: Mike Brooke

“Our job is not to attack individuals, but to win arguments on policies.

“I feel angry—this wasn’t done in the name of the party, but in the name of a group of people who consider themselves part of Labour. Their behaviour is not compatible with that expected of a disciplined party during an election.”

He accused the sub group of being “irresponsible” and had requested they take down the “offensive” tweet which was “at the very least open to misinterpretation as anti-Semitic”.

One of Labour’s main rivals in the election, the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets,

John Biggs... “I feel angry. This wasn’t done in the name of Labour, but by a group of people who consider themselves Labour.John Biggs... “I feel angry. This wasn’t done in the name of Labour, but by a group of people who consider themselves Labour." Picture: Mike Brooke

has laid down its manifesto path with pledges of “zero tolerance” on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all racism.

It’s party leader Rabina Khan, who is up against Labour for mayor for the second time in three years, told the Advertiser: “The tweet was absolutely disgusting and disgraceful.

“We should remember why the Holocaust took place—because of such hatred. I will stand with all politicians who face any form of prejudice and racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in a ‘Brexit’ era.

“Labour needs to ask some hard questions about anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism.”

Rabina Khan... “We should remember why the Holocaust took place because of hatred.Rabina Khan... “We should remember why the Holocaust took place because of hatred." Picture: Mike Brooke

The offending tweet hoping to dislodge Tory opposition leader Peter Golds from his Island Gardens seat on the council was withdrawn after pressure from Labour’s own election agent.

Labour could have found itself legally responsible for what was being put out in its name.

The incident has come in the wake of the national scandal involving party leader Jeremy Corbyn failing to take action to stem race hate in the rank and file membership, with his own MPs at Westminster giving evidence in the Commons this week about anti-Semitism in the party.

Corbyn has come under fire for a comment on Facebook back in 2012 supporting the artist who painted a mural in Brick Lane portraying caricatures of bearded Jewish bankers, likened by critics to Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitic propaganda, reported in the Advertiser at the time. The mural was hurriedly painted over after complaints back then from Cllr Golds himself.

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