Old Hastings Labour Councillor Dany Louise has quit the party saying the “level of denial” by Jeremy Corbyn supporters over Labour’s antisemitism problem leaves her “in despair”.
Her shock resignation was reported in the Jewish Chronicle and her resignation comes amid claims that thousands of members are now leaving the Labour party as a result of Mr Corbyn’s failure to tackle antisemitism.
Ms Louise told Hastings In Focus: “I am still a councillor and am committed to continuing to work hard for all my Old Hastings constituents for the remainder of my term.”
In her resignation letter addressed to Peter Chowney – Hastings Borough Council leader and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hastings – Ms Louise, who is a member of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue, says: “The treatment of Luciana Berger MP has been disgraceful.
“She was faced with a vote of no confidence in her constituency Labour Party (CLP) brought by a conspiracy theorist who thinks Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks, and allowed by a CLP Chair associated with David Icke.
“This action was met with a call for her to prove her loyalty to the Party by John McDonnell, and deafening silence by Jeremy Corbyn.
“Luciana Berger is an inspiring role-model, and a real-life contemporary hero. She should be celebrated as a person and MP of outstanding courage and integrity.
“It is unacceptable that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonell were prepared to throw her to the wolves they have encouraged into the Party.”
Ms Louise was elected a councillor for the Old Hastings ward in last May’s elections holding on to a seat that many thought might fall to the Greens.
She has a reputation for being one of the most hard-working councillors and had become increasingly frustrated by the level of antisemitism in Labour under Mr Corbyn.
In her resignation letter she says: “The level of denial by Jeremy Corbyn supporters leaves me in despair.
“Decent people hold their hands up in horror when the victims tell them they are being antisemitic.
“People and institutions who are sincere about not being racist learn to change their attitudes, behaviour and procedures for the better. They recognise that they have rightly been called out for unacceptable behaviour.”
In a tweet the JLM said: “It is awful that our member, Councillor Dany Louise, of Hastings Council and Brighton and Hove Progressive Shul has felt compelled, like many others, to resign the Labour whip and her Labour membership. When will the party and its leadership treat this as the urgent moral crisis that it is?”
Mr Chowney told Hastings In Focus: “I spoke to her about it – she told me that she had no argument or problem with the Labour group on Hastings Council and would continue to sit as an Independent councillor until the election next year. She felt unable to support the Labour Party nationally however, so has resigned from the party.
“I told her that her that I respected her views, thanked her for her time as the Labour councillor for Old Hastings, and hoped she’d be able to support us on the council over the next year.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said: “Labour has treated its Jewish MPs disgracefully and has allowed hostility towards Jews to fester. Now a Labour councillor in Hastings has rightfully quit the party because of its failure to tackle vile antisemitism.”
Rob Lee, who leads the Conservative group on HBC told Hastings In Focus: “Peter Chowney should be putting pressure on his party leaders to do more about Labour’s antisemitism problem.”