General secretary Jennie Formby criticizes deputy leader Tom Watson over handling antisemitism

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General secretary Jennie Formby has recently accused the deputy leader Tom Watson of completely unacceptable behaviour for asking complaints about anti-Semitism to be forwarded to him for monitoring.

She said his approach would undermine and pollute existing party processes. Mr Watson stood by his request, saying opacity and delay by the party had led to a complete loss of trust.

In a letter to Mr Watson, which was forwarded to all Labour MPs and peers, Ms Formby said: “It is absolutely inappropriate for you to set up a vague parallel complaints monitoring system.”

“Furthermore, you will undermine the work that my staff and I are doing and will confuse and pollute the existing formal process, compromising it and slowing it down,” Ms Formby further added.

Ms Formby said it was completely unacceptable for Mr Watson to receive data relating to such complaints.

Ms Formby asked Labour parliamentarians not to send complaints to Mr Watson or any other unauthorised individual.

Mr Watson later responded saying: “The constant concern of those complaining about anti-Semitism in our party is that there is no transparency about the process.

“Too often those who have suffered anti-Semitic abuse have not heard anything about the outcome of their complaint.

“It is my responsibility as deputy leader of the Labour Party to ensure people have confidence in our complaints system and our ability to deal transparently with the scourge of anti-Semitism.

“I will continue to do everything I can to achieve that.”

Ms Formby has been told to investigate Diane Abbott’s local constituency party after it called for an immediate start to processes which could see MPs who speak out on antisemitism face deselection.

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