Labour probe into Dame Margaret Hodge dropped


Dame Margaret HodgeImage copyright

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Dame Margaret Hodge is a vocal critic of Labour’s issues with anti-Semitism

The Labour Party has dropped an investigation into MP Dame Margaret Hodge over a confrontation she had with leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The disciplinary action came after she allegedly shouted at Mr Corbyn about anti-Semitism in the party.

Dame Margaret tweeted she was pleased the party had scrapped any action but added neither side had apologised.

She also released a strongly-worded response from her lawyers, denying reports she had expressed “regret”.

Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby wrote to Dame Margaret ending the inquiry into alleged abusive behaviour.

Earlier, a Labour source confirmed disciplinary action had been dropped and said it came after Dame Margaret had expressed “regret” to the chief whip.

However, her lawyers said that although the “decision is welcomed, the basis on which you seek to explain your belated volte face is entirely disingenuous”.

The letter said their client “did not express regret” and that was a misrepresentation in order to “save face in your necessary climb down”.

Some Labour figures, including the shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith, had called for the action to be dropped – and shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour needed to “move on”.

Dame Margaret previously said she had chosen to confront Mr Corbyn in anger at what she said was the party’s “arrogance” over its new code of conduct on anti-Semitism.

Labour’s guidelines repeat the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition but have rewritten the wording of some of the examples of anti-Semitism that it lists.

Dame Margaret accused Labour of “playing around” with the international definition, and said she had gone to tell Mr Corbyn he was “perceived as being anti-Semitic”. She denied reports she had sworn at him.

The row centres on a list of “contemporary examples of anti-Semitism” cited by the IHRA. Labour has come up with its own list, “derived in part from the IHRA guidelines”.

Labour says it has “expanded and contextualised” the IHRA examples to provide “legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases”.

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