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Scottish Labour leader urged to rescind support for HJS

Scottish Labour leader urged to rescind support for HJS

Categories: Latest News

Monday January 05 2015

The Scottish paper, Herald Scotland, reports on a call by human rights advocate Niall McCluskey to the newly elected Scottish Labour leader, Jim Murphy, to end his association with the Henry Jackson Society.

Herald Scotland reports that McCluskey, has asked Murphy to “consider his position” given the anti-Muslim statements that have been made by senior officials at the Society and especially Associate Director, Douglas Murray.

The paper reports McCluskey’s comments on the HJS and  the propriety of the Labour leader’s association with the group stating:

“The problem with the Henry Jackson Society at the moment is Douglas Murray, who has been articulating certain viewpoints that are of concern, that appear to be anti-Islamic.

“The question arises whether or not it’s appropriate for the leader of Scottish Labour to be associated with a society like that, if that’s the sort of message it appears to be espousing.

“Jim Murphy is not alone [among Labour MPs], but is it time he made a break? It seems to me it’s the wrong kind of message for someone in his position to be associated with.

“I would encourage him to consider his position.”

The paper reminds readers of the comments made by Murray in his 2006 Pym Fortuyn lecture in which he called for “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board … All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.”

Noting more recent remarks by Murray, the paper observes that “In 2013, Murray claimed London had “become a foreign country” because “white Britons” were a minority in 23 of 33 London boroughs, and last month he downplayed the US Senate report on CIA torture after 9/11 as “largely or partly untrue”.

The paper further notes the remarks of the director of the Henry Jackson Society, Alan Mendoza, who has blamed “anti-Israel feelings” in Europe on the continent’s “growing Muslim population”.

Professor David Miller, co-author of the report, The Cold War on British Muslims, which has documented the anti-Muslim activity of the Centre for Social Cohesion, of which Murray was director before its merging with the Henry Jackson Society in April 2011, and itsdownplaying of the threat to Muslim communities from far right extremism, told the paper “When you look at what Douglas Murray has said about Muslims, I don’t understand how it’s possible for the Scottish Labour Party leader to endorse the Henry Jackson Society.

“It’s moved from an intellectually respectable conservative position to an increasingly anti-Islamic position.”

Last week, the Guardian reported the Society’s retracting secretarial support from two all party parliamentary groups in order to resist disclosure of its donors to the parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Calls for Labour politicians to reconsider their support of the HJS were voiced last May by the editor of Left Foot Forward, James Bloodworth, who, voicing concern over the anti-Muslim statements made by members of the Society, asked “How, one wonders, do the views of the Henry Jackson Society sit with one-nation Labour?”

Bloodworth also revealed that he has written to all 11 Labour MPs affiliated with the HJS “but none were available for comment.”

The response of the Labour MPs is not as resolute as that of Liberal Democrat MP, Tom Brake, who when informed of the stoking of anti-Muslim prejudice by a HJS run organisation, Student Rights, revoked his membership of the organisation.

We hope Jim Murphy follows Brake’s honourable example and steps down too.

A full list of MPs who sit on the HJS’s Political Council can be found below – is your local MP one of them? Why not write to them andask if it is appropriate, given the anti-Muslim statements of Murray and his colleagues, that they should continue to associate with the group.

David Amess MP

Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP,

Bob Blackman MP

Nick Boles MP

David Burrowes MP

Alistair Burt MP,

Douglas Carswell MP

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP,

Damian Collins MP

David Davies MP,

Rt Hon David Davis MP,

Nadine Dorries MP

Mike Freer MP

James Gray MP

Robert Halfon MP

Stephen Hammond MP

Bernard Jenkin MP,

Daniel Kawczynski MP

James Morris MP

Sir Richard Ottaway MP,

Priti Patel MP

Mark Pritchard MP

Dominic Raab MP

Amber Rudd MP

Robert Walter MP

Julian Lewis MP

Nadhim Zahawi MP

Henry Smith MP

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP,

Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP,

Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP,

Chris Bryant MP,

Dai Havard MP

Khalid Mahmood MP

Meg Munn MP,

Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP,

Rt Hon John Spellar MP,

Gisela Stuart MP

Derek Twigg MP,

Dan Rogerson MP


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