“Mere belief or opinion” is not a basis on which a disciplinary case in the Labour Party can proceed – there has be evidence that the opinion is “offensive”.
This means there is one person who can kill the investigation into Margaret Hodge stone dead in an instant – Jeremy Corbyn. All he has to say is that he did not find Dame Margaret’s words offensive and it’s all over.
Instead, as this morning’s shambolic interview on the Today Programme suggested – the leadership want Hodge to bend the knee. Before he got his tongue tied and said Labour were “anti-semitist”, the Shadow Chancellor said that the row had blown up because Hodge had “completely misunderstood” the NEC’s decision to adopt a bowdlerised version of the IHRA definition and examples of antisemitism.
There is an alternative explanation – that Hodge knew exactly what was going on and that the Labour machine’s attempts to bully her into silence have been going very badly with the party leadership now desperate to extract themselves from a mess of their own making.
Well, now they know how – Corbyn just has to say there was no offence taken and the matter is closed.