Whistleblowers to sue Labour as antisemitism row deepens

Ex-party staff to act over 'defamation' as angry Jeremy Corbyn criticises BBC documentary.

The Labour high command is to be sued by former employees who broke cover last week to criticise the party's handling of cases of anti-semitism in a dramatic escalation of the row engulfing Jeremy Corbyn's party.

Two of the whistleblowers who featured in last week’s explosive BBC Panorama programme entitled Is Labour Anti-Semitic? – Sam Matthews and Louise Withers Green – have instructed the prominent media lawyer Mark Lewis to act on their behalf because they believed the party had defamed them in its response to their claims.

Mark Lewis, who works for Patron Law, said: 'It is incredible that after the programme Labour wilfully attacked the whistleblowers, falsely accusing them of making deliberate, malicious representations, and misleading the public, while also calling them disaffected former officials whose credibility as sources was in doubt.'

He added: 'These are very serious libels. Those representing the Labour party have acted in a way that set out to destroy the reputations of the whistleblowers.'

'In their effort to destroy these people they have left it for the courts to decide who is telling the truth. It is ironic that the bosses at the workers’ party have decided to go against the workers.'

Labour has raised complaints at the highest level of the BBC about the Panorama programme, in which eight whistleblowers spoke out, claiming it was slanted and unbalanced.

The allegations from whistleblowers included claims that key aides, including the director of communications, Seumas Milne, and the general secretary, Jennie Formby, interfered with investigations.

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