News

Former Plaid leader Leanne Wood deletes controversial tweets about Corbyn antisemitism row

25 Nov 2020 4 minutes Read
Leanne Wood. Picture by Garry Knight. (CC0 1.0)

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has deleted controversial tweets about the Jeremy Corbyn antisemitism row.

Ms Wood, the MS for the Rhondda, quote-tweeted the comments of journalist Glenn Greenwald, who claimed the former Labour leader was a victim of a “flagrant, repellent and cynical exploitation of antisemitism.”

The tweets by the former leader of Plaid Cymru attracted a torrent of criticism on social media.

The controversy follows the publication of a report into antisemitism in the Labour Party by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found the party had acted unlawfully while Mr Corbyn was leader.

Corbyn was suspended for his reaction to the report, before being reinstated following a clarification of his remarks. However, the current Labour leader Keir Starmer declined to restore the parliamentary whip to his predecessor.

Mr Greenwald responded to the decision by saying: “I’ve never seen a more flagrant, repellent and cynical exploitation of antisemitism in my life than its disgusting use to smear Corbyn because of a lack of alternatives for how to defeat him. Nothing has trivialised this cause more than what British Blairites have done.”

“Everyone now knows that Labour centrists did everything possible to sabotage Corbyn, preferring that May or Boris win than they win with Corbyn. Now this. Why would any leftist keep supporting Labour under Starmer? What else do they have to do to show they hate you?”

 

‘Boundary’

Former Plaid leader Dafydd Wigley has recently told the Western Mail that the party “cannot tolerate” antisemitism, and Liz Saville Roberts MP, the party’s leader in the House of Commons, has been tasked with conducting a review into it.

Dafydd Wigley said: “I cannot comment in detail, but it’s absolutely clear that Plaid Cymru cannot tolerate anti-Semitism or any other form or racism.

“Liz Saville Roberts is a first-class MP and I have no doubt she will come to the right conclusions.”

The review comes after some Plaid Cymru members and the Board of Deputies of British Jews expressed concerns about party activist Sahar Al-Faifi, who is a candidate on the South Wales Central list for the Senedd election.

Ms Al-Faifi admitted in November of last year that posts she published had “crossed the boundary of criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism”.

However, she subsequently posted another tweet in June linking police violence in the United States with Israel. That tweet was criticised by Plaid Cymru Welsh Parliament Candidate for Cardiff Central, Wiliam Rees.

Senior vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Sheila Gewolb, called for Ms Al-Faifi to be kicked out of the permanently following the tweet that she later deleted.

‘Closed’

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, told the Jewish Times: “This is not the first time Ms Wood has tried to clumsily weigh in on issues surrounding antisemitism.

“Her latest attempt is particularly ill timed, given the internal review currently being conducted by Plaid after their recent decision to let off a member – for a second time – who had made antisemitic statements.

“This will hardly fill British Jews with confidence in the Party’s willingness to change.”

Plaid Cymru said the retweets had been removed, and a spokesperson told the Jewish Times: “The findings if the Equality and Human Rights Commission are fully supported by Plaid Cymru. Leanne Wood has taken the right course of action. We now consider the matter closed.”

As part of the push to tackle the issue, Plaid Cymru election candidates are now undergoing training on combating antisemitism.

Leanne Wood has been asked for a comment.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.