Labour campaigners against antisemitism have criticised controversial Momentum member Jackie Walker’s plans to hold a one-woman Edinburgh Fringe show.
Walker’s show, The Lynching, is the “horrific tale” of what happened to her after Labour was enveloped in an antisemitism row, according to the press release. The former Momentum vice-chair is quoted saying she was “demonised” by the media and received “disgusting” abuse online. She adds: “This show is my chance to tell my side of the story.”
As well as the Edinburgh Fringe, she plans to hold a performance in Brighton to coincide with the Labour party conference. It is not part of the party conference programme or Momentum’s conference, The World Transformed.
A spokeswoman from the Jewish Labour Movement called the show “shameful”.
Walker, born to a Jamaican mother and a Russian Jewish father, was first suspended from the Labour Party in May 2016 after she described Jews as the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade” on Facebook.
She was later reinstated, but caused a second controversy at Momentum’s The World Transformed conference, when she claimed an anti-Jeremy Corbyn media had turned antisemitism into a “weapon of political mass destruction”. She also suggested Holocaust Memorial Day did not commemorate victims of other genocides (it does), and questioned the need for security at Jewish schools.
In the aftermath of her comments, Walker was suspended again from the Labour Party and stripped of her senior position in Momentum.
A Jewish Labour Movement spokeswoman described the show as a “fringe meeting” on “the fringes of the fringe with no support from anybody of any relevance at all”.
She added: “This is a shameful doubling down on the politics of hatred and division whilst she is already the subject of a serious disciplinary investigation.
“To claim that she is the victim of a lynching is to compare Jews and others who oppose antisemitism to racist gangs who hanged black people from trees. We hope that this point will not be lost on Labour officials investigating her.”
Mike Katz, Jewish Labour’s vice-chair, said it was “high time” the party changed its rules to deal more effectively with hate speech. He added: “We need to make it absolutely clear that the party has zero tolerance of all hate, and that every minority community can feel at home in Labour.”
Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, described the show as “disingenuous”. He added: “Many of us regularly criticise the Israeli government, we just manage to do it without resorting to antisemitic tropes.”
A Labour Party spokeswoman said: “Jackie Walker remains suspended from the Labour party.”
Walker said: “I was disappointed but not surprised at the reporting of my suspension from the Labour party in this article. To hear a fuller and more accurate version of my comments, please visit Electronic Intifada or Jews For Justice For The Palestinians.”