THERE was more than one contentious episode at that recent meeting of Labour constituency members in Hampstead and Kilburn. People in the room also wanted a clear condemnation of Israeli forces for the border shootings earlier this month.
A motion was brought and supported by an obvious majority through a show of hands, but organisers were then asked for this to be a recorded vote. This has been viewed as a direct demand to know who would not support such a motion within the constituency (around 75 people were in the room). It wasn’t permitted, and now nobody knows who would’ve voted against it, or abstained. This was source of frustration for some members.
It was against this backdrop that MP Tulip Siddiq later joined proceedings to give a regular update on her work.
She was asked to explain her connection to Labour Friends of Israel, which listed her as one of its supporters in Parliament on its website. The LFI had been at the centre of controversy for shifting the blame for Israeli gunfire onto Hamas in a tweet which was later deleted.
Given the temperature of these meetings (people on both sides of the ‘divide’ say they can be very uncomfortable sessions) who knows what would’ve happened if Ms Siddiq had said she was a wholehearted supporter. Instead, she explained that she had asked her name to be removed and, as reported elsewhere, is understood to have been concerned by the tone of the response to the shootings.
Catherine West, the Labour MP in Hornsey and Wood Green, also asked to be removed from the list of LFI supporters.