GLA member and candidate clash over London Assembly motion to condemn Braverman and McDonald

Anne Clarke says Conservative assembly members proposed a vote to condemn a suspended Labour MP to wreck attempts to criticise the home secretary reports David Floyd

City Hall (credit GLA)
City Hall (credit GLA)

A Conservative candidate has criticised Barnet’s London Assembly member for not supporting a statement condemning a Labour MP however Labour says the claims are misleading. 

Julie Redmond slammed Barnet and Camden member Anne Clarke for not supporting an amendment to a motion at a London Assembly meeting last week which condemned Labour MP Andy McDonald for statements he made at a pro-Palestine march leading to his suspension by the party.

Part of the Conservative amendment said: “This Assembly further condemns the comments made by now suspended Labour MP Andy McDonald MP at the weekend which were cited by a Labour spokesman as ‘deeply offensive’ particularly at a time of rising antisemitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety.”

Redmond said ‘’It is beyond concerning to see Anne Clarke say one thing to the Jewish community in Barnet and Camden then turn around and do something else. 

“These are worrying and stressful times in our communities and for Cllr Clarke to actively vote against a motion condemning a man who has been suspended from her own party because of the comments he made in relation to the situation in Israel and Palestine.’’

She added: “I hope Cllr Clarke can explain why she voted such a way not only to me but to the residents of Barnet and Camden.’’

Clarke says she does condemn the MP’s comment – but that she opposed the Conservative amendment because she saw it as an attempt to dilute criticism of the home secretary Suella Braverman in the motion proposed by assembly member Onkar Sahota.  

The full Conservative amendment combined the condemnation of McDonald with alterations that changed the portrayal of the home secretary’s comments, including a reference to former German leader Angela Merkel. 

Clarke said: “I unambiguously support London’s multicultural communities.

“Suella Braverman’s comments about multiculturalism have fed into the divisive politics that will have real-world consequences for multicultural Londoners. The Conservative group amendment diluted the condemnation of Suella Braverman’s vitriolic comments and removed reference to those parts which I believe deserve particular criticism – the idea that multiculturalism undermines security and stability in our society. I would not vote for an amendment that excused her divisive and cruel language.

“I have no hesitation in condemning the comments of Andy MacDonald. I am pleased that he has been held to account and I note that at the time of the motion he had already had the whip suspended – and rightly so. I hope that the Conservatives will do the same for their Home Secretary, who retains her office, her whip and the support of her party. 

“If Julie cannot, as Conservative Assembly Members would not, condemn Suella Braverman’s divisive comments, then I can only assume this is an attempt to use Barnet and Camden’s Jewish communities as a political football and I will not play any part in that.”

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