Labour dismiss complaint against Joan Ryan MP over Al Jazeera series

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Labour dismiss complaint against Joan Ryan MP over Al Jazeera series

The Labour Friends of Israel chief was cleared by the party's compliance unit following the controversial documentary

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Joan Ryan
Joan Ryan

Labour has dismissed a complaint against its MP Joan Ryan after she was secretly filmed for an undercover Al Jazeera series, Jewish News has learnt.

The party’s compliance unit this week said the Labour Friends of Israel chair was not in breach of party rules over a complaint related to footage from the Labour Party conference while she was at the LFI stand.

One episode of The Lobby, She was seen being pressed by pro-Palestinian activist Jean Fitzpatrick about what LFI is doing to promote a two-state solution.

The latter suggests LFI has a lot of money and prestige and she’d heard it could be “a stepping stone to good jobs” – with Ryan suggesting her words resembled an anti-Semitic trope. However, when she as later shown shown relating the episode to a colleague, the MP incorrectly said Fitzpatrick claimed working at LFI could result in a job at a bank.

Following the broadcast, Ryan said the report she made about the incident to the party made no reference to banking but defended the complaint, saying such language “appeared to me to evoke anti-Semitic tropes”. She claimed the programme sought to belittle problems with anti-Semitism in the party.

Following a complaint against Ryan, the party’s governance unit said it would not be launching an investigation. They said the documentary would not be the basis for a probe “as its authorship is unknown, it is undertaken through covert means, and the editing of the footage is unknown in terms of what was left out.

“The context of how, when and where the specific offending comments were made confirm the view that Ms Ryan’s comments did not constitute a breach of party rules.”

The party previously dismissed a complaint against Jewish Labour Movement director Ella Rose in relation to her conduct in the undercover series, which is now the subject of an OFCOM probe.

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