Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson on Saturday declared that the party faces “eternal shame” over its leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on anti-Semitism.
Watson insisted Corbyn must adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which a majority of Labour MPs support, but the party’s national executive has objected to because the dropped items include hatred for Israel as a form of anti-Semitism.
Watson also wants Corbyn to drop the party’s investigation of MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin, both of whom attacked the party leader over the “Israeli” points.
Sky News, which reported Watson’s open challenge, calls it a declaration of war against Corbyn and Labor’s leftwing members. The rebellious MP said: “This is one of those moments when we have to take a long, hard look at ourselves, stand up for what is right and present the party as fit to lead the nation – or disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment.
“I think it is very important that we all work to de-escalate this disagreement, and I think it starts with dropping the investigations into Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin.
“I have frequently had very difficult conversations with both Margaret and Ian but what I understand is that your critics are not your enemies.
“On an issue that is so dear to them, I think people are very, very concerned that these investigations should be dropped quickly.”