A recording has emerged of a Labour Cabinet member in the London Borough of Haringey dismissing the problem of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, whilst praising the disgraced Member of Parliament Chris Williamson.
In the recording, Cllr Noah Tucker criticises “the suspension of one of our best and most honest and most loyal MPs, Chris Williamson, for the crime of speaking the truth”.
He also states that the reasons eight MPs had left the Labour party for the Independent Group were “nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism and nothing at all to do with allegations of bullying” and that they were actually attempting “to protect the power, the privilege and the huge wealth of a tiny minority of people”.
Cllr Tucker represents St Ann’s ward (part of the Tottenham constituency) and is Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Insourcing.
Even prior to these comments, he was considered a controversial figure. For example an opinion column in the Times from May 2018, highlighted Cllr Tucker’s membership of the Communist Party and his praise for Stalin. He also refused to vote for the Council adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
There have also been accusations that a motion has been submitted to Hornsey & Wood Green CLP, which also falls within Haringey’s boundaries, calling for Chris Williamson’s reinstatement to the Labour Party and states that accusations of anti-Semitism were being used to “attack the leadership” of the party.
Speaking in response, Cllr Liz Morris, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Haringey Council, said that:
“Cllr Tucker’s comments reveal a complete lack of empathy for the victims of anti-Semitism and a willingness to ignore what they have suffered. He should apologise for the hurt he has caused and resign from the Council immediately. If he does not, his Labour colleagues should remove the Whip from him with immediate effect.”
Cllr Tammy Palmer, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Tottenham, further commented that:
“MPs like Luciana Berger who left the Labour Party over anti-Semitism deserve solidarity. Instead, Cllr Tucker chose to impugn their motives. I hope that David Lammy MP and the rest of Tottenham CLP will condemn without caveats Cllr Tucker’s behaviour.”