Labour MP sparks fury after inviting Corbyn to address students at ‘political school’ event

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Labour MP sparks fury after inviting Corbyn to address students at ‘political school’ event

EXCLUSIVE: Kate Osamor, the MP for Edmonton, has angered Jewish members in her north London local party, by claiming Jeremy Corbyn represents 'the politics of hope' after she invited him to an event

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Jeremy Corbyn is invited to speak to students at Labour MP Kate Osamor's 'political school' event in Westminster  (pic Facebook)
Jeremy Corbyn is invited to speak to students at Labour MP Kate Osamor's 'political school' event in Westminster (pic Facebook)

A Labour MP has sparked anger after inviting Jeremy Corbyn to address students at her “political summer school”event in Westminster and then proceeding to praise “the politics of hope he represents.”

Kate Osamor, the MP for Edmonton, and a former frontbencher under Corbyn, wrote that she was “really pleased” to be joined by the Islington North MP at last week’s inaugural event for a group of year 10 students from her constituency in north London.

The 54 year-old MP and Socialist Campaign Group member later wrote in a social media post of Corbyn’s involvement:””Really pleased to be joined by Jeremy Corbyn at my political summer school.

“Without exception the students remain inspired and excited by Jeremy and the politics of hope he represents.”

But Osamor’s decision to invite Corbyn – who had the Labour whip removed in 2020 over his response to the equalities watchdog’s report into antisemitism in the party –  to participate in the event in parliament last Tuesday has infuriated members of her local party, many of whom are Jewish.

One party member told Jewish News:”What is really disappointing is to see Kate Osamor, my local MP, who should know better, celebrating Jeremy Corbyn being at her political school event.

“She has a blindspot when it comes to Jeremy, she has consistently supported him, both when he was leader, and she continues to do so now.

“We’ve got an array of minority communities who are members of the CLP, and the Jewish members are not the only ones who feel let down by Kate.”

Kate Osamor

The Labour member added:”I joined Labour to fight against racism, that was a big part of why I joined. Alongside Jewish members, and our allies we have fought against antisemitism in the party and we’ve been very successful in rooting it out.

“But there are still pockets in the party who are problematic. Kate should be helping fight back against these people, rather than pandering to someone like Corbyn who can’t bring himself to fully accept the recommendations of the EHRC report.”

Andrew Gilbert, from Enfield Fabians, also confirmed he had written to the MP demanding an apology for her decision to praise Corbyn after he took part in the event.

Another local member also spoke to Jewish News saying:”It is no bad thing setting up an event that introduces local students in the area to politics, and gives them an insight into the goings no at Westminster. No-one is criticising Kate Osamor for that.

“But the decision to invite Jeremy Corbyn and then glorify him afterwards like our MP has done is simply appalling. I know she is just a backbench MP these days, but I’d like to see the party take action over this.”

On her parliamentary website Osamor this week publicised her political school event stating:”This week I held my inaugural political summer school for 10 students, selected from schools across Edmonton. The school took place over 3 days and gave students to see how Parliament works up close and hear from some fantastic speakers. ”

Along with Corbyn, other speakers to address the students during the event, which ran from July 17th-19th, included deputy leader Angela Rayner,  Haringey Council leader Cllr Peray Ahment and community activist Stafford Scott.

The MP’s website added:”The Students were given talks on a range of important topics, from the role of Unions and the Media in politics, and a session on ‘How Legislation is Passed’ by the Education team here in Parliament. The Students were also given a tour around Parliament and got to sit in in a debate in the Chamber on the Northern Ireland Bill.

“Parliament belongs to the people and I’m always keen to give young people in Edmonton the chance to come and see what I’m doing in Parliament as their Member of Parliament. ”

Jeremy Corbyn. Pic: Sky News

Osamor has served as the MP for the north London constituency since 2015,  and was made Corbyn’s shadow international development secretary, but her time in parliament has also been dogged with controversy.

In October 2019 local members voted to deselect her, but this contest was scrapped by the leadership when a snap general election was called.

One year earlier it emerged that Osamor continued to employ her son, Ishmael, in her parliamentary office despite his drug-related convictions. 

Osamor, who also lived with her son, was initially said by the party to have known nothing about his case until sentencing on 26 October, but  it later emerged that she had written to the trial judge asking for leniency before his sentencing on 19 October.

She faced further criticism when it was revealed that she used parliamentary stationery and referenced her shadow cabinet position in writing to the judge.

After being doorstepped by a reporter from The Times about the issue, Osamor threw a bucket of water, and shouted: “I should have come down here with a…bat and smashed your face open”.

The Standards Commissioner found Osamor guilty of two breaches of parliamentary rules.Osamor accepted that she broke the rules and apologised to the Commissioner.

She later claimed she was “the target of a witch-hunt, and that race and class were factors”.

Jewish News has contacted Osamor and the Labour Party for comment.

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