Labour drops probe into Margaret Hodge over anti-Semitism clash with Jeremy Corbyn

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An investigation into senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge for allegedly shouting at Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism has been dropped, the party has said.

General secretary Jennie Formby has written to Dame Margaret ending the inquiry into alleged abusive behaviour and informing her that no further action will be taken.

It is understood the decision comes after Dame Margaret expressed her regret to the chief whip Nick Brown for the manner in which she had voiced her views.

Writing on Twitter, Dame Margaret welcomed the decision, but insisted there had been no apologies on either side.

“I’m pleased that the Labour Party has finally dropped their ‘action’ against me.” she wrote.

“After 55 years of LP membership going after me instead of addressing the issue was wrong. In 2018 anti-Semitism that has again reared its ugly head and the campaign against it goes on.”

The investigation into Dame Margaret was launched following a heated exchange last month in which she was said to have called Mr Corbyn and an “anti-Semite” and a “racist” over his refusal to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

The decision to drop the inquiry comes after deputy leader Tom Watson called for the investigations into Dame Margaret and a second Labour MP Ian Austin – who clashed with party chairman Ian Lavery over the issue – to be abandoned.

His comments, warning the party faced a “vortex of eternal shame” unless it tackled anti-Semitism within its ranks, prompted a furious Twitter campaign to oust him under the hashtag #ResignWatson.

Earlier the party confirmed that George McManus, a member of Labour’s national policy forum, had been suspended following a Facebook posting referring to Mr Watson and “Jewish donors” and comparing him to Judas.

Mr McManus subsequently removed the comments and apologised to Mr Watson and the Jewish community.

However, one Labour MP – who described the remarks as a “classic anti-Semitic trope” – called for him to be expelled altogether.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mr McManus said Mr Watson had received “£50,000+ from Jewish donors,” adding: “At least Judas only got 30 pieces of silver”.

His comments were condemned by Labour backbencher Wes Streeting who called for “swift action” against him.

“More from the cesspit. This isn’t even subtle. This is 100% a classic antisemitic trope – and from a Momentum-backed member of Labour’s National Policy Forum,” he wrote on Twitter.

Following the confirmation of Mr McManus’s suspension, Mr Streeting said he was “glad” that the pressure had resulted in action, adding: “Hope this leads to expulsion”.

After deleting the original remarks, Mr McManus wrote: “I’d like to apologise to Tom Watson and to the Jewish community for my drawing an analogy between him accepting money from Jewish donors and the biblical story of the betrayal by Judas.

“I fully accept that such an analogy is wrong and am sorry for making the comparison.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“Complaints about anti-Semitism are always fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

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