Britain's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell waded into the internal controversy around anti-Semitism that has engulfed the Labour Party in recent days. Saying that action to tackle the problem of anti-Semitism in the party should have been implemented "ages ago," the shadow chancellor appeared to blame the previous Labour Secretary General Ian McNicol who resigned in late 2017.
John McDonnell says Labour changes to tackle anti-Semitism “should have been brought in ages ago”, appearing to pin blame on former Gen Sec Ian McNicoll, and will “kick out” anybody guilty.— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) March 29, 2018
John McDonnell says proper measures against anti-Semitism in Labour should have been brought in "ages ago". #r4today— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) March 29, 2018
John McDonnell just blamed Iain McNicol for anti-semitism in the Labour Party…. changes should have been ``implemented ages ago,'' he says. "We've now brought in a new general secretary and they will be implemented."#scapegoat— Thomas Penny (@ThomasWPenny) March 29, 2018
Mr. McDonnell however said he believed that Christine Shawcroft, a party official who resigned from a disputes resolution body over her refusal to back the sacking of a Labour councillor accused of anti-Semitism, should not be made to resign from the party's National Executive Committee as well.
The dispute has become yet another faultline in Britain's main opposition party as well as a point of criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.
Labour's NEC has in recent months been taken over in party elections by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, such as Momentum founder Jon Lansman, who seeks to take Britain in a dramatically different direction from that pursued by previous Labour Governments. On March 21, another Corbyn supporter, Jennie Formby won election to become the Labour Party's secretary general.