Former Derry-based Labour councillor whose family fled pogroms fed up with antisemitism slurs on Corbyn

Jo Bird.
Jo Bird.

One of British Labour’s newest councillors, Jo Bird, who was based in Derry for years prior to topping the poll in a by-election on Merseyside last month has said she is sick of anti-Jewish racism being used as a stick to beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms. Bird, whose ancestors fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia and Poland in the early 1900s, was speaking after the Labour MP for Birkenhead, Frank Field, resigned from the parliamentary Labour Party declaring that he believed the current leadership was “a force for antisemitism in British politics.”

She stated: “I am a newly elected Labour councillor who is Jewish, in a ward bordering Birkenhead. Frank Field MP chose to use antisemitism as his excuse to resign from the Labour whip. I am frankly fed up of anti-Jewish racism being used as a political weapon to attack Labour. Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader a few years ago, my Jewish lived experience is a ‘broad church’ Labour Party showing solidarity and support to the many as well as the Jews. More than 100 members from all wings of Wirral Labour Party worked together to elect me, in our successful local by-election.

“We spoke with over 2,100 residents and I heard no-one raise the issue of antisemitism.”

Ms. Bird who is a founder member of a Jewish Voice for Just Peace - Ireland represents the Bromborough ward on Wirral Council after receiving 47.1 per cent of the vote in a by-election on August 24.