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First Minister criticised for attending event alongside people ejected from Labour Party

30 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Ken Loach (left). Picture by Georges Biard (CC BY-SA 3.0). Mark Drakeford (right) Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Wales’ First Minister has been criticised for attending an event alongside individuals expelled from the Labour Party.

Eluned Anderson, a 21-year-old regional ambassador of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said that Mark Drakeford should not be attending the event.

Mark Drakeford is listed as one of three headline speakers at the event, alongside former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was suspended from the party last October after stating that antisemitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”.

Other speakers at The World Transformed event on 29 September include director Ken Loach who was expelled from the Labour Party earlier this month.

He had previously claimed there was a “witch-hunt” after four campaign groups were expelled from Labour following criticism of the way Sir Keir Starmer was tackling antisemitism.

Eluned Anderson said: “The First Minister of Wales should not be sharing a platform with members who have been expelled from the party. The damn state of this.”

John Haywood, Labour councillor for Ringwood North in Hampshire, was also among those to criticise the Welsh Labour leader’s decision to appear at TWT.

He tweeted:” Very very disappointed that Mark Drakeford is on the bill at Twit Festival, which is basically a Trot jamboree taking place in Brighton at the same time as UK Labour party conference.“

The Wales Against Antisemitism group also tweeted: “Why does Mark Drakeford, as First Minister of Wales, think it appropriate to speak at this event, given antisemitism controversies involving many of his fellow speakers?”

‘No truck’

However, Jewish Voice for Labour welcomed the First Minister’s readiness to appear at the event.

A Jewish Voice for Labour told the Morning Star: “Hurling evidence-free accusations of anti-semitism around like confetti and then attempting to turn people like Jeremy Corbyn into non-persons who must be shunned is absolutely deplorable and dangerous for democracy.

“Those who talk of Labour as a ‘broad church’ are in reality trying to turn it into a narrow sect, a Tory B-team. What is really under attack is a pluralist party in which socialist ideas can be openly and robustly expressed and debated.

“[Mr] Drakeford is clearly having no truck with this censorious nonsense and we wish more politicians were prepared to make such a stand, whether they agree with us or not.

“Disagreement is not hate speech and silencing is not the way to retain members or to gain the confidence of voters.”

The World Transformed is described a “welcoming space for a new generation of young activists who supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership” but feel “increasingly alienated” by Labour under Keir Starmer.

The event at Brighton will include sessions on ‘Should Socialists Be Members of the Labour Party?’ and ‘Scotland’s Indey Ref 2: Scenario Workshop’.

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John Davies
John Davies
28 days ago

Good for Drakeford. He and others attending TWT are people of considerably greater stature than most of their critics, who are best ignored.

John Brooks
John Brooks
28 days ago

Talk about trying to restrict free speech. Who do these people think they are? Who gave them the power to act as arbiters of what can and cannot be done?

Phil
Phil
28 days ago

This article is wrong. Jeremy IS a member of the Labour Party. His membership was reinstated. He is currently not a member of PLP that is a different matter.

Keith Turner
Keith Turner
28 days ago

The usual right wing suspects criticising they should be in the Tory Party

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
27 days ago

Drakeford is listed as a panel member on the topic of; Where next for Universal Basic Income? Turning a transformative policy into action: UBI pilot for Wales. Beth Winter MP and Prof Guy Standing are the other panel members or “fellow speakers”, neither of whom have ever been accused of anti-semitism. Association fallacy seems apparent here. Anyone within a mile of Corbyn is automatically anti-semitic so by that reasoning we had best close the Commons and Lords and the whole of Brighton for the whole of September. I have no time for Corbyn or anti-semitism but they need to be… Read more »

Geoff Ewbank
Geoff Ewbank
27 days ago

Very sloppy journalism.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago

Funny, it seems UK Labour wants criticise anyone who goes against cardboard cutout Keir Starmer and his neo-Blairites in London agenda, with the usual threats of deselection & political purging, and now FM Mark Drakeford are in London Labour’s crosshairs by association. The same was done to Jeremy Corbin after he attended a wreath laying ceremony and was called an anti-Semite by the redtop press who slyly omitted to say how there were others including a Liberal Democrat & Tory MP who were invited and attended but not hounded out of office by the Murdoch media and other religious groups… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Y Cymro
Chris Franks
Chris Franks
27 days ago

Labour continues to rip itself to bits. Meanwhile it leaves Wales vulnerable to further Tory attacks.

John Davies
John Davies
27 days ago
Reply to  Chris Franks

Welsh Labour is doing much better than Westminster Labour, whose ratings have tanked both electorally and in the polls, ever since the new “realistic, electable” leadership took over. At the last Senedd elections Welsh Labour did far better than expected. The more they are independent of Westminster, the better for all of us.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
27 days ago
Reply to  Chris Franks

Labour does the Tory bidding in the end

Alan Gorithm
Alan Gorithm
27 days ago

Why is a media outlet taking the comments of a 21 year old who happily discussed “good looking Nazis”?

Her judgement is awful, a bit of research by the writer would have discovered this.

John Davies
John Davies
27 days ago

This is ugly stuff. First it promotes guilt by association. The ghost of the late and unlamented Senator McCarthy must be chuckling. Secondly it makes it very difficult to have any sort of rational discussion of the vital distinction between antisemitism on the one hand and criticism of the conduct of the State of Israel on the other. The two are not the same thing on any standard of rationality or reality, but Starmer’s Labour does not appear to understand this. So we have had the very odd spectacle of a number of left-wing Jews, critics of Israel, who insist… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by John Davies
David Silverman
David Silverman
27 days ago

We need to talk about right wing entryism in the Labour Party.

Patricia Philippou
Patricia Philippou
27 days ago

A politician’s strength of character can be gauged by their ability to not be intimidated, bullied, bribed or blackmailed by the obscenely powerful #Apartheidisrael lobby. Our world is threatened by the power of the non elected lobby groups, especially the conscienceless Apartheidisrael lobby. Hats off to any brave, principled politicians, anyone really- who is not afraid to stand up to them. And Ken Loach and Mark Drakeford will go down in history as two magnificent people who stood up to bullies.

george
george
26 days ago

I sooner stand with Jeremy Corbyn, Mark Drakeford & Ken Loach than sit with Keir Starmer and his Blair loving mates any day.

John Davies
John Davies
26 days ago
Reply to  george

Quite so. The latest data from “Britain elects” suggest that Johnson’s personal approval ratings have fallen. Not surprising. He is a lazy lying incompetent buffoon. But alas it also appears that Starmer’s ratings have fallen even further. To do worse than Johnson is an achievement of a sort, I suppose, but the whole project of being “credible” or “electable” does not seem to be working too well. Discarding principle in order to win is ugly but common in politics. But discarding principle in order to lose is just plain idiotic.

Jonathan Clay
Jonathan Clay
1 day ago

Is this Eluned Anderson presented in the article as an “ambassador of the Holocaust Educational Trust” the same person who was last year implicated in a scandal after making comments about supposedly “good looking” Nazis?
What a great source to quote…

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