Longstanding Labour supporter Bonnie Greer has said she felt “sick” after discovering the extent of the party’s anti-Semitism problems in a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Greer, who writes for The New European, gave a stinging assessment of the Labour Party’s failure to tackle the treatment and harassment of Jewish people during an appearance on Question Time.
A 130-page report by the EHRC found Labour had committed “specific examples of harassment, discrimination and political interference” against Jewish people and that there was “a lack of leadership within the Labour Party on these issues”, which it said was “hard to reconcile with its stated commitment to a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism”.
Ultimate responsibility for the anti-Semitism failings lays with then-leader Jeremy Corbyn, the watchdog said, but it acknowledged blame could not be attributed to one person.
Corbyn has since been suspended from the party after claiming the findings were “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
When asked by an audience member about her reaction to the report, Greer referenced “trauma” for Jewish people in society and said she was disappointed Labour had failed to address it.
She said: “If Jewish people tell you some place is unsafe for them, they don’t feel good, it feels bad, they’re holding trauma.
“I’m a Labour voter, I will always vote Labour, I became a citizen so I could vote Labour, I will always vote for the Labour Party as I think it is the best coalition of the left for this country.
“But for this party to be caught up in something like this, makes me sick.”
Greer said the Tory Party also had its own “housework” to do in relation to racism.
Responding to claims by Chris Philp, the minister for justice, that his party had “the most diverse government in British history” because of the appointments of people of racial minorities like chancellor Rishi Sunak and home secretary Priti Patel, Greer said: “Chris, that’s what they used to say to folks when they were desegregating a neighbourhood.
“‘Oh, well we have a black person in our neighbourhood, so we’re cool, we’re alright’.
“It doesn’t wash anymore, okay?” she said. “You don’t judge people like that anymore. We look at human beings.”