Labour Drops Probe of Youth Leader for Anti-TERF Tweets After Woke Outrage Online

© REUTERS / JESSICA TAYLOR / Britain's PM Johnson addresses lawmakers about AfghanistanBritain's PM Johnson addresses lawmakers about Afghanistan
Britain's PM Johnson addresses lawmakers about Afghanistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2021
Jess Barnard was the latest Labour member to be probed for historical social media messages — in her case throwing the TERF insult at women critical of the trans rights movement. But she had already drawn the ire of party leaders for organising a Palestine solidarity event at the party's looming conference.
The UK's opposition Labour party is has dropped a probe into the head of its youth wing after prominent liberal journalists tweeted in her support.
Young Labour chair Jess Barnard confirmed that she had received a message from the party "rescinding" the probe against her, which she had earlier claimed was prompted by her "challenging transphobia".
Earlier political news sites Labour List and The Skwawkbox reported that she was being probed over an exchange of Twitter posts with an un-named Labour councilor last year.
In one post, Barnard described some individuals as TERFs or Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists — a term of abuse for women who do not accept that transgender people are literally a member of the sex they identify as.
The U-turn by Labour head office came after Owen Jones, an openly gay columnist at the liberal Guardian newspaper, tweeted his outrage at the move. The paper's political editor Heather Stewart tweeted a quote from a Labour spokesperson who said the probe had been launched in "error," adding: “We apologise unreservedly to Jess for the hurt and upset this has caused”.
Labour List editor Sienna Rodgers said one member of Labour's National Executive Committee had told her the investigation was “outrageous,” while another said they “can’t see the issue”.
And Richard Burgon, the Labour MP for Leeds East, tweeted his solidarity with Barnard minutes before it emerged she was off the hook. Burgon claimed the youth section was targeted for its left-wing politics.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, right, and John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor on stage during the Labour Party Conference at the Brighton Centre , Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.07.2021
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Young Labour has set itself at odds with party leader Sir Keir Starmer by organising a Palestine solidarity meeting at the Labour conference in Brighton in two weeks.
Late last month Barnard tweeted that Labour's acting General Secretary David Evans had forbidden the event, adding that she had been told both the UK's Palestine Solidarity (PSC) Campaign and suspended former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were banned from speaking at conference events. Last week the party denied it had blocked PSC speakers, saying the comments to Barnard were "a mistake".
Labour faces a series of embarrassments at the conference, including a move backed by Britain's biggest union Unite not to approve Evans' as General Secretary. And the decision of a special congress of food workers' union BFAWU on disaffiliating from Labour — after its president was threatened with expulsion from the party over his membership of a banned left-wing faction — will be announced during the conference.
Meanwhile members of Unite and fellow super-union GMB have voted to go on strike at Labour HQ over plans to make 90 staff redundant — while taking on short-term contract workers to trawl members' social media pages for incriminating posts.
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