Medway Labour member and Labour Party activists apologise after transphobic and anti-Semitic tweets posted

Medway Labour Leader Vince Maple statement on 22/10/2019

Medway Labour had a very controversial week after one of its members was caught posting transphobic tweets and the Labour Youth organisation they supported posted Anti-Semitic comments.

Anti-Semitic tweets were made by Medway Young Labour activists, an autonomous organisation from Medway Labour. The members of whom are young students and activists who support the Labour party.

Medway Young Labour had been heavily endorsed by Medway Labour until the anti-Semitic comments made online came to light.

Members of the organisation had tweeted in support of a post which had the Israeli flag covered in blood with “Genocidal murderers of innocent women and children” written on top of it.

The defence of the tweet was soon questioned by Labour Councillor Tris Osborne who wrote: “I’m surprised two people can like this Tweet but maybe they are under an illusion I haven’t noticed. Disgusted. That is all.

I’ve reported those who seem to think otherwise. My portfolio is a celebration of diversity in all its strengths irrespective of nationality, background, creed and sexuality… I’m saddened and disheartened by what I’ve read.”

Medway Young Labour released a statement on Twitter in which they condemned the conduct of some of their committee members and said that their post came out of ignorance.

@MedwayYL Medway Young Labour Statement 23/10/2019

Medway Labour leader Vince Maple said: “Anti-Semitism is wrong; it is not acceptable anywhere especially not in my political party. Individuals need to reflect on their action.

“I believe everybody through various other statements made on twitter has made their position clear. They have apologised and I think that’s right.”

Conservative Councillor Stuart Tranter on the issue said: “I would not want to be too harsh on a young person who has crossed a line possibly without thinking.

“I hope they will learn from their mistakes and say they have got it wrong.”

Medway Labour also had one of its members, Councillor Jo Howcroft-Scott retweeting transphobic comments this week.

On multiple occasion, the Labour Councillor re-tweeted transphobic posts.

However, in a statement released by her online, she apologised for her tweets and said she believed they were “pro-choice and feminist message, but with the help of the Twitter community I have come to realised that this is not the case.”

@MedwayLabour 22/10/2019

She has since made her Twitter account private and deleted the re-tweets.

Stuart Tranter said “Occasionally we get it wrong and I think Jo may have gotten it wrong on that occasion and I am sure Vince would discuss with her if he feels she has got that wrong.

On being asked what Medway Labour will be doing going forward after this week’s incident, Vince Maple said: “I would be expecting in all cases there will be a level of reflection which may include learning and training which I suspect people will look at moving forward.” 

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