Starmer ally, Steve Reed, has been accused of anti-Semitism for calling businessman and Tory donor, Richard Desmond, a puppet master. Reed, who is the shadow communities secretary, asked “Is billionaire former porn-baron Desmond the puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet?” after it was revealed that Desmond had privately lobbied a number of Tory MPs for personal gain.
Desmond had lobbied Priti Patel to relax lottery rules that would have benefited his company ‘Northern & Shell’ who set up and run the Health Lottery. Patel subsequently tabled questions in the Commons and met with other ministers arguing in favour of a significant increase in the jackpot and sales limits for society lotteries.
It had earlier been revealed that Desmond had pulled a few strings with Tory Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, in order to get a housing development project approved, literally, the day before new rule changes were due to come in that would have significantly increased development costs. However, Tower Hamlets council found that the development went against the advice of planning inspectors and decided to overturn Jenrick’s decision.
In stark contrast to his treatment of SCG member and Corbyn ally, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Starmer has refused to take any action against Steve Reed. He appears to be satisfied with a formal apology. Whatever your opinion on the intent behind Steve Reed’s comment, which appears to me (under the circumstances) to be perfectly legitimate, I think it’s hard to ignore the double standards at work in the Labour Party here.
I further suspect that Starmer and his ilk are already regretting opening the Pandora’s box of false anti-Semitism claims against the Labour party. The Labour right are ultimately responsible for weaponising fake anti-Semitism claims against their own members and now, by giving it their endorsement, they have also legitimized it’s use (by Tory and LibDem activists, Zionists and others) against themselves. Ultimately, what they have achieved by their dirty crusade against the Labour left is the delegitimsation of the the entire Labour Party.