As an antisemitism crisis threatens to engulf the Tory party, Laura Kuenssberg runs to the rescue

Boris Johnson and Laura Kuenssberg
Kerry-anne Mendoza

An antisemitism scandal has struck the Conservative Party, with two candidates facing accusations of alleged antisemitism. But instead of holding the party’s feet to the fire over its issues with racism, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg attacked Labour instead. It’s starting to feel like there’s no crisis big enough Kuenssberg won’t overlook in service of the Conservatives.

Holocaust denial

Scottish Conservatives have withdrawn support from Aberdeen North candidate Ryan Houghton. The decision comes after the discovery of historic social media comments by the candidate of a homophobic, Islamophobic, and antisemitic nature.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




Houghton’s suspension came the same day the party’s Leeds North East candidate Amjad Bashir came under fire for alleged antisemitism too. How did Kuenssberg announce this shocking turn of events? Without even mentioning antisemitism, that’s how.

The Kuenssberg announcement

Bear in mind that Kuenssberg once facilitated the resignation of a centrist Labour MP on live TV, claiming newsworthiness as a defence against accusations of bias. Seriously, just hours before the Tory scandal broke, Kuenssberg thought it newsworthy to livetweet a single audience member heckling Corbyn over antisemitism:

Surely it must then be newsworthy that the Conservative Party has an antisemitism problem, right? 

Wrong.

Kuenssberg announced Houghton’s suspension without even mentioning antisemitism. Worse, she used the same tweet to announce the entirely unrelated resignation of an unknown local Labour Party official in Leicester. And she only linked to the Labour story:

There is no connection or equivalence between these stories whatsoever. One is about a candidate for parliament being suspended for sharing extremist views, the other is a disgruntled local party official quitting over a local issue. So why combine the stories like this? To our knowledge, tweets are not currently being rationed.

Given Kuenssberg’s borderline obsessive behaviour around allegations of Labour antisemitism, we weren’t the only ones asking the question:

Kuenssberg did not ask how Boris Johnson enabled this culture of antisemitism in the party. She did not speculate about the resignation or personally racist views of Johnson. And she did not spend the day taking comments from Johnson’s political opponents on the issue.

Enough

Antisemitism remains an issue in British society. But there is less antisemitism among Labour party supporters than among supporters of some other parties.

ockets of antisemitism - YouGov 2017

If the media’s concerns with antisemitism were based on genuine antiracism, these stories would be top news items. But they aren’t. Westminster pundits would also be challenging the Conservative Party’s refusal to hold an independent inquiry into its Islamophobia problem. But they aren’t. Their concern for racism seems to begin and end with weaponising it against political opponents.

Everyday, Muslims, Jews, Black people and other ethnic minorities face bigotry, abuse and violence. The overwhelming threat comes from a resurgent far-right. And instead of uniting with the left to defeat it, centrists and the right have united against the left, giving the far-right a virtual free ride. In normal times it would be unacceptable, but at time like this, it’s unforgivable.

Featured image via YouTube – BBC News

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
    1. Out of Curiosity, has there ever been ANY Resignations, Allegations, Accusations or Cases of Antisemitism or Due to Antisemitism in the LP From Jews? OR Are all these Cases from Zionists? I would like to see such a result, because if these are all Zionists, this can have serious implications for Jews! Especially when the Zionist BoD etc so loudly professes to be speaking for ALL Jews!

    2. One suspects (it’s just my hunch) that ‘Labour’s anti-Semitism’ is derived from a great deal of online spiel that purports to be from Labour adherents or supporters or Labour members without that there is able to be proven detail as to say or prove or categorically label said ‘anti-Semitism’ as being precisely spieled or purported or adhering to actual bona fide ‘Labour Party people’ as such. In any case, any so-called anti-Semitism or racism or Islamophobia emanating from the varied Labour portals online or off is automatically disowned by the Labour Party as being nothing to do with or owned by the UK Labour Party.

    3. Amjad Bashir made comments critical of Zionist Jews who had been to Israel. To call such criticism antisemitism helps to silence criticism of Israel, which emboldens Israel, and has led to the slaughter on the Gaza border in which hundreds of peaceful protesters have been killed and thousands have been shot in the limbs with exploding bullets causing life changing injuries.
      Please be more responsible when talking about “antisemitism”. I expect better from the Canary.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.