Jeremy Corbyn has toured Stoke today with a Labour candidate who said the party’s antisemitism crisis was “without foundation”.
Mark McDonald, Labour’s candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South, joined Jeremy Corbyn for a tour of a local manufacturer as part of his visit to the city.
McDonald, a barrister who co-founded Labour Friends of Palestine, wrote a 2016 article for Tribune Magazine titled “Don’t let these racism smears stick”. In the article, he claims that “it is, however clear, with only the slightest scrutiny, that any allegation of antisemitism is wholly without foundation”.
Ironically, McDonald later offered advice to Tony Greenstein, a Labour member who at the time of the advice was suspended from the party over antisemitism allegations. Greenstein was expelled from the party in February for abusive remarks including saying that “gay Zionists make me want to puke”.
McDonald’s selection for Stoke-on-Trent South proved to be controversial, with some local Momentum members said to have considered leaving the group after he was selected over alternative local candidates.
The news will raise further questions about Corbyn’s seriousness in tackling antisemitism as he struggles to deal with the controversy over his 2014 visit to Tunisia.