Tories demand Labour finally acts as MP makes ‘unhinged ethnic cleansing rant’

Labour’s Andy McDonald speaks at Palestine rally

Pressure is mounting on Keir Starmer this morning after a Labour MP delivered a speech at yesterday’s pro-Palestine rally, which a Jewish MP has described as “unhinged ranting about ethnic cleansing”.

Andy McDonald, the MP for Middlesbrough and long-time Jeremy Corbyn ally, posted a video of his speech in central London yesterday, which saw him use the phrase “between the river and the sea”.

He also read the words of Gaza resident Abdalla Hasaneen, claiming Israel’s bombardment “is not about Hamas at all”.

“It’s about ethnically cleansing Palestinian people. It’s about 2.3 million Palestinian people, that’s why the first thing Israel did was to cut off the water, and cut off the electricity, and cut off the food.”

He yelled: “Let there be no mistake about it: Israel is committing war crimes against Palestinians on an unprecedented scale”.

READ MORE: Demands for Labour MP to delete claims Israel caused Gaza hospital blast

Mr McDonald accused Israel of “crimes against humanity”.

He also refuted that the current IDF action against Gaza “started on October 7”, “and that this is all simply about retaliation against Hamas for the terrible crimes it carried out on that day”.

“But friends we know that this is simply not the case.”

This morning Jewish Tory MP Andrew Percy accused the Labour MP of attempting to “belittle and diminish the events of October 7th, which saw the worst murder of Jews since the Holocaust”.

Mr Percy said Mr McDonald’s comment “denies Jews and those who died at the hands of savage terrorism the right to be victims and shows a complete ignorance of these events”.

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He also slams the Labour MP for “unhinged ranting about ethnic cleansing, whilst also referencing the phrase ‘river to the sea’”.

“The phrase refers to a broader chant which is widely regarded as racist and meaning the destruction and removal of the state of Israel and all Jews.

“These rallies are not about peace, they are marches for hate as evidenced by those shouting for jihad, for Muslim armies to take on Jews, shouts for an intifada and the numerous antisemitic signs on display.

“The fact a senior Labour MP should give succour to such events is staggering. He would do better calling for Hamas to release hostages and to stop the use of civilians and human shields.”

Fellow Tory MP Sir Simon Clarke, a constituency neighbour of Mr McDonald in Teesside, said his speech “beggars belief, and will astonish most right-thinking people in Middlesborough”.

Sir Simon said the MP “and his fellow hardliners have thrown down the gauntlet to Keir Starmer”.

“Either their views are acceptable in his party or they aren’t.

“It’s time to choose”.

Labour has been contacted for comment.

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