Labour Politician Allegedly Made Anti-Semitic Remark Over Beatles Song Chorus, Says Report

A British Labour Party politician, who frequently champions equality and social justice issues, has been accused of singing the lyrics "Hey Jews" over the classic song "Hey Jude" by the Beatles.

Daniel Carden, who serves closely with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as Acting Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, pushed back against a Saturday BuzzFeed News report that accused him of gregariously singing the anti-Semitic lyrics last year. The alleged incident, according to BuzzFeed's Alex Wickham, was overheard during a late-night bus ride from the March Cheltenham horse racing festival back to London.

Carden reportedly chanted "Jew Jew Jews," during the chorus to the Beatles song.

He tweeted Saturday he categorically denies the allegations, and pointed out that the alleged incident was now being reported months after, as a general election is coming up.

"I stand by my record as an anti racist campaigner. I would never be part of any behaviour that undermines my commitment to fighting racism in all its forms," he wrote.

As BuzzFeed noted, just a little more than a week after the alleged March 15, 2018 incident, Carden tweeted out a remark denouncing anti-Semitism: "Jeremy Corbyn has committed his entire life to fighting all forms of racism and fascism - & under his leadership there is no place for anti-semitism in the Labour Party," Carden wrote. His Twitter commentary came just a few weeks after the Labour Party was forced to suspend several members over unearthed anti-Semitic posts online

In response to the Saturday "Hey Jude" report, a spokesperson for Carden highlighted his stance on equality issues and said he'd never "intentionally" engage in behavior which could be labeled as bigoted.

"Daniel Carden has been a committed campaigner in support of LGBT rights and against all forms of racism and hatred, his entire political life. As a homosexual man he would never intentionally engage in homophobic, racist or anti-Semitic behaviour. Had there been genuine concerns as to Daniel's behaviour then those concerns should have been raised at the time rather than some 20 months later on the eve of a general election," the spokesperson wrote.

The Labour Party and its leader Corbyn have repeatedly been accused of anti-Semitic behavior in recent years. Last month, Jewish MP Louise Ellman declared Corbyn "not fit" to be prime minister and said he'd allowed anti-Jewish abuse to become "mainstream" in the Labour Party. Several additional MPs have left the party over similar anti-Semitic accusations.

Responding on Sunday, Corbyn told The Guardian he is actively investigating the claims made against Carden.

"Dan Carden has emphatically denied that," Corbyn said. "If it's true it is utterly and totally unacceptable. I am looking into it."

In a September 2018 blog post, Carden touted his center-left party's tradition of helping the world's poor and vulnerable. "Since its foundation, the Labour Party has had equality and social justice at its core," he wrote.

Meanwhile, according to the BuzzFeed report, Conor McGinn, a former Labour whip, was accused of repeatedly calling a colleague during that same bus ride a "poof," a derogatory and homophobic British slang term.

A McGinn spokesperson responded to the report by pointing to his work campaigning for LGBT equality and rights: "Conor's record as a staunch supporter of the LGBT community speaks for itself. As an MP he led the campaign which delivered a monumental and historic change in the law to finally extend equal marriage to the whole of the UK."

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Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, England. The building is lit up and set against a dramatic sky with cars and busses zooming by on Waterloo Bridge. dave_valler/iStock/Getty/Getty
Labour Politician Allegedly Made Anti-Semitic Remark Over Beatles Song Chorus, Says Report | World