‘No confidence’ call over Luciana Berger

Frances Segelman, Michael Helfgott and Sir Ben and Lady Helfgott pose proudly with Frances’ sculpture
PICTURES: Paul Toeman

THE Liverpool Wavertree Labour group has called an extraordinary meeting after two motions of no confidence in its MP Luciana Berger were tabled yesterday.

The group accused Ms Berger, who is Jewish, of “continually using the media to criticise the man we all want to be prime minister”, a clear reference to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The first motion, proposed and seconded by members Howard Sharp and Peter Cain, asks members to vote to agree that: “Wavertree CLP has no confidence in Luciana Berger as our representative in Parliament”.

It adds: “The UK is in crisis because of the appalling austerity policies of a government that serves the interests of the rich.

“We need a Labour government under the socialist leadership of our twice-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Instead of fighting for a Labour government, our MP is continually using the media to criticise the man we all want to be Prime Minister.”

The second motion asks members to agree that “Our CLP has no confidence in Luciana Berger as our parliamentary representative”.

A week earlier, Ms Berger had asked: “Where’s the zero tolerance [on Labour antisemitism] we were promised?

“We must demand that none of our political parties can ever provide a safe haven for antisemites.”

Speaking at Yad Vashem UK’s annual dinner in London, she admitted: “I’ve been thoroughly ashamed, angered and appalled by the rise of antisemitism on the left and inside the Labour Party.

“Some of those accused of antisemitism are merely reminded of the code of conduct before being allowed to carry on as members of the Labour Party.

“Let's be clear, I don’t want peddlers of anti-Jewish hate to be given a stern warning or sent on a training course.

“I want them expelled from the Labour Party.

“It’s disgusting, and increasingly it’s going unchecked.

“I’ve been calling for faster justice for the victims of Labour antisemitism and for the perpetrators to be adequately dealt with.”

LUCIANA Berger addresses the Yad Vashem UK dinner

Ms Berger, who has been the target of antisemitic abuse, said many people were prepared to stand up to all prejudice, although that “may come at a personal cost.

“It may come at the expense of our jobs. It may come at the expense of our mental well-being.”

She asked people not to be bystanders to hatred but to be inspired by those who have been honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Describing the “vital, never-ending work” of the museum, she added: “It is about looking forward, not back.

“Not a museum to the past, but contributing to the discourse of the future.

“And most of all, by developing our understanding, preventing such events from ever occurring again.”

She continued: “Holocaust denial is a pernicious lie. It denies historical evidence and facts, and thus represents the triumph of falsehood over truth.

“And it feeds the terrible climate of conspiracy theory and fake news that infects our public discourse.”

Lord Pickles, the government’s envoy for post-Holocaust issues, described antisemitism and Shoah denial as “two sides of the same coin” and praised Ms Berger for her “true grit”.

A bronze bust of Yad Vashem UK president Sir Ben Helfgott by Leeds artist Frances Segelman was unveiled at the dinner.

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