Anti-Semitism Whistleblowers Threaten To Sue Labour Party

Durham Miners’ Gala

Durham Miners’ Gala

The General Secretary of the country's biggest union Unite, Len McCluskey - an ardent supporter of Jeremy Corbyn - has launched a blistering attack on Labour's Deputy leader, Tom Watson, telling him that he should "be f**king well ashamed" of himself.

McCluskey's astonishing comments came in response to Watson attacking Labour's General Secretary, Jennie Formby - who is now undergoing chemotherapy for cancer - over last week's Panorama documentary outlining allegations of antisemitism within the Labour party.

Mark Lewis, the media lawyer acting for the pair, told The Observer: 'These are very serious libels.

Mr Matthews told The Observer: "The Labour party is choosing to ignore the central charges of anti-Semitism raised by myself and other whistleblowers on Panorama, and instead, they have engaged in a concerted campaign to damage my name".

'Those representing the Labour party have acted in a way that set out to destroy the reputations of the whistleblowers. Every penny you contribute goes directly to our writers for their work.

Mr Matthews and Ms Withers Green - who broke non-disclosure agreements to speak out - were among eight former party employees featured in the programme.

Ms Withers Green told the paper she was "incredibly disappointed" that the party had not taken action on the issues raised in the programme.

"This should be a stark wake-up call about our collective duty to root out racism".

She said the party should be asking the commission: "Can you help us?"

Labour denied the comments were defamatory and said it would contest any legal action. Any claims will be vigorously defended, ' a spokesman said.

Last week Panorama revealed claims from a number of former party officials that some of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies tried to interfere in disciplinary processes involving allegations of anti-Semitism.

In a speech to the Durham Miners' Gala on Saturday, he said: "The programme adopted a pre-determined position on its own website before it was broadcast".

"I think that we shouldn't be going for the messengers, we should be looking at the message".

"Jennie, our message to you is that the Durham Miners' Gala stands with you".

Ms Thornberry said she found the Panorama episode "awful" - both the programme itself and "more importantly the revelations".

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