Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis has slammed an RMT activist for his speech at a Full Brexit rally, which the MP claimed “used the language of the far-right.”
In a video of his speech at the rally, where he was appearing alongside IPPR’s Grace Blakeley and The Guardian’s Larry Elliot, Eddie Dempsey said “The one thing that unites [the people who turn out for Tommy Robinson demos] beyond whatever other bigotry that’s going on… is their hatred of the liberal left. And they are right to hate them.” Dempsey reportedly went on to say, “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with people, they calculate, from ethnic minorities and liberals, that’s enough to get them into power”.
Dempsey, who has appeared on Sky News to defend Jeremy Corbyn against accusations of antisemitism in the past, was later forced to apologise for a tweet in which he accused Michael Chessum of the left-wing anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible of having “pockets full of Soros money.”
Clive Lewis attacked Dempsey on Twitter for the suggestion that “black people are not part of the real working class but merely pawns of the liberal left” which he said was “the language of the far-right.” The Norwich South MP later penned an open letter in which he claimed the self-defined Communist “spoke of black people being used as pawns to subvert the (white) working class” and wrote “I won’t tolerate racists and racist sympathisers in our party – whatever politics they claim to have.” The letter was addressed to Young Labour’s Marcus Barnett, a fan of Venezuelan despot, Nicolas Maduro, and also mentioned Lara McNeil, Labour NEC member and seemingly the author of some infamously offensive tweets from the Young Labour Twitter account. Both defended Dempsey on social media, as did Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani.
Lewis was joined by Paul Mason in this attack on the Communist sect of the Labour Party, who wrote in his recent New Statesman article that Dempsey’s “entire argument – that the “working class” has been robbed of a voice in their own movement by liberals – echoes precisely the drivel against political correctness, “luvvies” and “citizens of nowhere” that is pumped out daily by papers like the Sun and the Daily Express.”
A member of the far-left RMT union, Dempsey has written for the Morning Star and far-left blogs on behalf of SARU, a pro-Putin campaign group which supports Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. He was once praised by expelled Labour member Gerry Downing, for his role in keeping members of the anti-Assad Syria Campaign from entering a meeting being addressed by Vanessa Beeley, the anti-White Helmets conspiracy theorist who called Jo Cox an “Al Qaeda advocate” after her murder.