Friday 12 July 2019 12:28 am

Panorama revealed a Labour party that’s rotten to the core

The Labour party has declared war on the BBC.

In response to (in fact, ahead of) Wednesday night’s Panorama film about the party’s handling of antisemitism within its ranks, a concerted campaign was whipped up online to discredit the journalist at the helm, John Ware.

How times change. Back in 2002 a group of MPs were so taken with Ware’s investigative journalism that they tabled a motion in the House of Commons to congratulate him on his work. The motion was signed by one Jeremy Corbyn.

Fast-forward 17 years and with Ware turning his attention to Corbyn’s lamentable response to the wave of anti-Jewish hate that his leadership has seemingly unleashed, Ware must be written-off as a partisan and unscrupulous hack.


The official Labour party press office, amplified by an army of mindless online activists, spent most of the week attempting to discredit the entire documentary.

The film, which is well worth watching, featured the testimony of eight former members of Labour’s internal disputes team – the people responsible for investigating party members accused of antisemitic behaviour. They all quit, citing interference from Corbyn’s office and a pervasive lack of enthusiasm for rooting out anti-Jewish activists.

Interviewed by Panorama, several spoke about the impact on their mental health of working in such an environment. Two were signed off with depression and anxiety, another contemplated suicide.

Such moving and shocking testimony has nothing to do with Labour’s allegations that the documentary misrepresented emails or took quotes out of context, and everything to do with the fact that the Labour party – the party of the workers – fostered such a toxic culture that employees suffered mental breakdowns.

Labour has described these brave individuals as “disgruntled former staff with an axe to grind”. What a reprehensible state of affairs.

It’s not all doom and gloom

The Bank of England yesterday confirmed that the City’s major financial institutions are ready for a no-deal exit.

This doesn’t mean they’d welcome such an outcome, but the banks are as prepared as they can ever be for it. This has been the case for well over a year, as the City never had faith that the government would secure its interests and acted accordingly.


It turns out to have involved far fewer job losses (or moves) than first thought, but has seen many billions of pounds transferred out of the UK to protect certain operations.

There is a mood now in the wider business community that the worst outcome for confidence and investment would be a further open-ended delay to Brexit.

Aston Martin’s chief executive said this week: “I’d rather leave with no deal than drag negotiations on.” Andy Palmer said “a decision is better than no decision”, and while no-deal would be hard, “what we find harder to work with is goalposts that keep moving every six months”.

Stick a pork (pie) in it

One minute you’re stuffing pork into a mincer, the next you’re at the centre of an online hate storm.

British sausage brand Heck this week became the latest (and most unlikely) brand to find itself confronted by a campaign to boycott their products. They said their actions “didn’t mean to cause offence or upset anyone”.

So what had they done? Something obscene with their pork product, captured on CCTV? Something culturally insensitive? Posed for a photo with Boris Johnson? Indeed, this was the offending incident.

The likely next Prime Minister was touring the Heck factory and the owners had whipped up a pack of Boris Bangers for a photo opportunity. Queue the online outrage.

To her immense credit, Heck’s founder rounded off her apology by saying: “You have to work with who is going to be in power – whatever your political view, dialogue is the only way forward.”

For the avoidance of doubt, she added: “We’re not selling sausages to support anyone.”

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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