According to the Independent, she said that any Labour employees that were found to have mishandled any claims of anti-Semitism should be axed from the party immediately. Her comments were made on New Year’s Day and sparked a furious reaction by Brexit Party MEP Lance Forman. Ms Thornberry was responding to an article by LabourList, and admitted that Labour had to be “utterly ruthless” in tackling the problem at the heart of her party.
She said Labour should sack “these despicable individuals”.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary added: “There needs to be a serious inquest into why that happened, and why it was allowed to go on for so long, even when the outcome was becoming so glaringly clear.”
But Mr Forman criticised the timing of her comments, which were originally made on Christmas Eve.
He wrote on Twitter: “Blaming your staff is not a good look for new year’s day.”
Labour leadership race: Emily Thornberry attacked for antisemitism excuse by MEP
She said Labour should sack “these despicable individuals”
Despite his claim that the comment was made on New Year’s Day, the piece he quoted was actually posted on December 24.
Ms Thornberry also revealed that Labour had overruled her on foreign policy spending decisions.
She alleged that Labour’s manifesto left the party looking as if it were “promising to deliver the Earth, the moon and the stars”.
She said: “I’ve had to continually argue against commitments to increase the Foreign Office budget – not something the shadow secretary of state would usually do – because I thought we needed to wait until we were in government, and see what the wider priorities were.
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Ms Thornberry with Mr Corbyn
“But even that argument was lost for this manifesto, and a £400m spending commitment was chucked in by Jeremy’s advisers, which – to my mind – would have been far better spent on our pledges to increase the numbers of police officers or nursing staff.”
Ms Thornberry was the first Labour MP to declare her intentions to run for the leadership.
After Labour’s disastrous showing at last year’s general election, Jeremy Corbyn – the party’s current leader – announced his intentions to stand down.
Currently, bookmakers see Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer as the frontrunner.
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Mr Forman was responding to the comments on Twitter
He is followed by Corbynista Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Labrokes have slashed odds on Yvette Cooper to also replace Mr Corbyn.
The MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford is now a 5/1 shot.
Lisa Nandy (4/1) and Jess Phillips (16/1) make up the top five.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Things are hotting up in the Labour leadership race and Cooper is now right up there among the frontrunners in the betting.”