Friday, 28 October 2016

Jenny Tonge: the explanation

Mark Pack gives an objective summary of the reason for Baroness Tonge's departure from the Liberal Democrat benches.

I believe she was foolish in chairing such a controversial meeting, certainly at this time. She must have known that heretical and probably antisemitic views would be expressed, and that Zac Goldsmith's resignation was imminent, putting her, as a prominent local resident and former MP in the area, under Tory media examination.

Here, for completeness, is Jenny Tonge's statement:

Today I have resigned from the Liberal Democrat Party at more or less the same time as they decided to suspend me! I have been a Liberal all my life and formally joined the party as a fresher medical student in 1959. I was a a local councillor for 9 years and an MP for two parliamentary terms. I shall sit in the House of Lords as an Independent.

The reason for my suspension is that I chaired a meeting to launch the Campaign to commemorate the Balfour Declaration next year and to ask our government to apologise for not fulfilling the words of that declaration which sought to protect the rights and lands of the indigenous people of Palestine when Israel was created. They have failed to do this and much suffering and extremism has ensued. In the course of the evening one member of the audience made a 'rant' against Israel quoting some very confused history which I confess I did not hear or understand! I then called the next member of the audience and moved on. The contribution was ignored by the audience after a few claps of relief! Apparently this is my sin!

I am at last free of being told what I must and must not say on the issue of Palestine., lest it offends the Israel Lobby here, who like to control us, as they do in the USA.

They are trying to destroy the Labour Party with spurious accusations of anti Semitism and now they have set their sights on the LibDems.

I have never been anti Semitic, and never will be. I am anti Injustice and that is why I criticise the Israeli government's flagrant disregard for International Law and Human Rights in the Occupied territories of Palestine and Gaza.

I would only add that the accusations against certain Labour MPs - who have admittedly since apologised for blatantly anti-semitic remarks - are not so spurious.

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