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Labour MP’s platform rally with Tony Greenstein

Labour MP's platform rally with Tony Greenstein
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Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has managed to establish quite the reputation as a firebrand during his four years in the Commons, most famously ranting on the night of the 2019 Tory victory that 'we will fight them in the streets'. 

In the eighteen months since, it has emerged he claimed the Conservatives 'conspired to murder and let die British citizens' and that he had accused JK Rowling in Tribune of using her own sexual assault as 'justification for discriminating' in a row over transgender rights. It also transpired that he had written social media posts suggesting Jewish claims to Israel were 'not progressive in [their] very nature' and that Zionism was a 'dangerous nationalist idea' – the last of which was followed shortly thereafter by his resignation from Starmer's frontbench last July.

Since then the former shadow environment minister has (understandably) tried to keep a quieter profile. But today it emerges that he spoke at yesterday's Brighton & Hove Trades Union Council May Day demonstration against the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill on the same platform as the controversial Tony Greenstein, according to the latter's own blog. Greenstein, who was ordered by the High Court to pay £67,886 to Campaign Against Antisemitism after his attempt to sue them for calling him a 'notorious antisemite' backfired, was thrown out of Labour in 2018 for offensive comments.

His blog boasts how: 'at today’s march I laid into the Labour Party which is led by someone who describes himself as a Zionist (i.e. racist) without qualification' and contains pictures of Russell-Moyle, microphone in hand, at the same platform but at a different time from Greenstein. A clip of Greenstein shows him concluding the speech by saying 'The first task for the trade union movement is to get rid of Keir Starmer and reintroduce socialism in the Labour Party' to cheering applause from the crowd. Unite General Secretary contender Howard Beckett also spoke too while a statement was read out on behalf of Green MP Caroline Lucas.

In April 2020, Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy spoke at an online meeting with Greenstein and another expelled activist Jackie Walker. At the time Labour said the MPs were 'reminded of their responsibilities' when spoken to 'in the strongest possible terms' amid calls from the Board of Deputies of British Jews for 'swift action' to be taken. Given this is the precedent, Mr S wonders whether Russell-Moyle will face any repercussions.

Update: Lloyd Russell-Moyle has since said 'I didn't share a platform, he was not advertised or on line up. I left stage after my speech.'

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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