Jo Bird

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Jew process: Jo Bird's play on words
InterestsJewish Voice for Labour
PartyLabour Co-op

Jo Bird is a British politician who has been the Labour and Co-operative councillor for Bromborough in the Wirral since August 2018.[1] Cllr Bird hopes to succeed Louise Ellman as the MP for Liverpool Riverside and, in a video released in October 2019, said:

“I am one of many Jewish members of the Labour Party here in Liverpool City Region. We don’t recognise the description that Louise Ellman paints of the Labour Party being institutionally anti-semitic.
“My experience is a very welcoming Labour Party. For me as a Jewish person, as a socialist and as a human I’m proud to represent this community. Louise Ellman was elected on a Labour ticket, she should resign and call a by-election as she is no longer part of the Labour Party.”[2]

In the event, Kim Johnson was selected for the Liverpool Riverside seat and she became the city's first black MP at the UK/2019 General Election.

NEC candidate

Jo Bird applied for the vacancy on Labour's National Executive Committee created by the election to Parliament of former NEC member Claudia Webbe but was narrowly beaten by right winger Johanna Baxter,[3] after what was described as an attempt to rig the NEC election.[4]

"Jew" process

On 4 March 2019, Jo Bird was suspended by the Labour Party pending investigation of allegedly antisemitic remarks she made in May 2018 at a meeting in support of political activist Marc Wadsworth, who was expelled for behaviour deemed "grossly detrimental" after a confrontation with Labour MP Ruth Smeeth in 2016.

Both a recording of a speech leaked to the Jewish Chronicle from the meeting and a blog written by Jo Bird for Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) struck a similar tone on the issue, mentioning Labour members such as Mr Wadsworth and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone:

"JVL is campaigning with others to overturn Marc Wadsworth’s unfair expulsion, clear his name and to defend Jackie Walker (who is black and Jewish) and others earmarked for the next phase in expulsions.
"JVL is calling for disciplinary hearings to be paused until a due process has been established based on principles of natural justice. What I call Jew process."[5]

Sorry for any offence caused

Speaking on Monday 4 March 2019, Cllr Bird said:

"I am sorry for any offence caused by my play on words - that was not my intention."[6]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:We condemn the suspension of Jo Bird and the appointment of Lord FalconerArticle4 March 2019As Ken Loach said: “If it looks like a witch hunt and behaves like a witch hunt – it may well be just that. This is intolerable and must end now.”