A former Labour Party MP has slammed the Labour Party for being “Islamophobic” and has accused the Israeli government of conducting “pogroms” ahead of the by-election in Batley and Spen.
Chris Williamson, the former Labour MP for Derby, visited the Batley and Spen constituency before the by-election in the area on 1st June.
In the documentary-style video presented by Mr Williamson, the former MP interviewed several activists in the area who were disenchanted with the current leadership. The video centred on the feelings of the Muslim community in the area, but also included general criticisms of the Labour Party. Mr Williamson was an ally of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before the former was expelled from the Labour Party because of his anti-Semitic comments.
The video also put a positive light on another candidate in the election, George Galloway. Mr Galloway, who is standing for the Workers Party, is a former Labour Party MP and a long-time supporter of the pro-Palestinian movement.
In his opening monologue, Mr Williamson said of the Batley and Spen election: “It’s attracted a lot of interest because, although it’s a Labour-held seat, Sir Keir Starmer seems set to oversee another embarrassing Labour defeat. That’s in part thanks to a large politically active Muslim community in the constituency who are utterly fed up with Labour’s reactionary Islamophobia positions, whether it’s Labour’s indulgence of Hindutvadi fanatics on Kashmir or its subservience to extremist Zionist groups in respect of Palestine. This by election’s being held shortly after the holy month of Ramadan, in which the Israeli regime escalated its campaign of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians across Gaza and the rest of occupied Palestine.”
He continued by saying: “Labour’s failure to say anything of substance during these pogroms, lynchings and missile bombardments has only compounded what many Muslims in Batley and Spen were already feeling: a sense that the Labour Party’s institutionally Islamophobic and doesn’t support their priorities.”
He also claimed that the liberal establishment is trying to “smear Muslim voters as anti-Semites, misogynists and homophobes. Put simply, they’re getting their racist excuses in early”.
In his closing monologue, he said: “Labour is pandering to Hindutvadi and Zionist racists” and not helping the working people around the country.