‘Nonsense’ anti-Semitism claims against Corbyn team made
by policy adviser who would ‘leak to anyone for a coffee’
Ashley Cowburn, Independent, Aug 7 2016
Corbyn has nominated Shami Chakrabarti for a peerage, which has upset Jewish leaders.
Photo: Jeff Mitchell/Getty
Claims Shami Chakrabarti ignored allegations that senior members of Jeremy Corbyn’s inner-circle have a problem with anti-Semitism were made by a former Labour staffer who would leak “to anyone that would buy him a coffee,” it has been claimed. The Independent understands that allegations members of Mr Corbyn’s office had a “blind spot” for anti-Semitism are “nonsense” and that Josh Simons, a former policy adviser, was pushed out of the leader’s office for leaking stories to journalists. An insider said:
Mr Simons was gradually kept out of the loop and he eventually got the hint and left. He would leak to anyone who buy him a coffee. He wasn’t particularly good at it.
A second Labour insider, who strongly denied the allegations, described Mr Simons as “politically motivated,” and confirmed he was removed from the leader’s office prior to the Tooting bye-election. According to the Sunday Times, a friend of Mr Simons, who formerly worked as a policy adviser in the leader’s office, claimed that some of Mr Corbyn’s inner circle including his director of communications Seumas Milne, had “at least a blind spot with anti-Semitism and at worst a wilful disregard for it.” The newspaper added that one member of the Labour leader’s office referred to a “Jewish conspiracy.” However, Ms Chakrabarti made no reference to Mr Simons’s submission in her report on anti-Semitism in the party released five weeks ago, it was claimed. Mr Corbyn’s official spox told The Independent:
The allegations made against Seumas Milne and Jeremy Corbyn’s office are false and part of the campaign against his leadership. Far from disregarding anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn has taken decisive disciplinary action over allegations of anti-Semitism, including the suspension of Ken Livingstone.