“We note the re-emergence of media reports around historic events at the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC).  These have appeared just as Cllr Newmark and our Party prepare to contest the 2019 Local Government Elections in Hertsmere. Some of the key protagonists in this affair are closely linked to the Conservative Party.  People will draw their own conclusions about this timing.

Cllr Newmark makes a significant contribution to this Borough as a popular Councillor & Opposition Leader.  He cooperated fully with the independent investigation process at all stages and kept us informed.   Critically, none of the substantive allegations against Cllr Newmark was proven despite a year-long process.

Unsurprisingly, the Hertsmere Tory Group has issued a highly mendacious piece of pre-election propaganda based upon an unbalanced newspaper opinion column about these matters.  As usual they seek to avoid debate on the real issues affecting local people and resort to personalised attacks against Labour Councillors.  This mirrors their misogynistic attacks on Cllr Vince before the County Council elections.  They have sought to remove Cllr Newmark since he won a previously Tory seat in a by-election defeating the Tory leader of Borehamwood’s Town Council – proving that local people want leaders who deliver for them and have had enough of the politics of smears and nasty personal attacks.  It is particularly distasteful that, not for the first time, this letter from Cllr Bright appears to have been sent only to Jewish residents.  Hertsmere Labour communicates the same messages to all voters – regardless of race or religion.

None of this has any relevance to Hertsmere Borough Council.  Labour in Hertsmere will choose our own leader based on who can deliver most effectively for local people – not the desire of the Tories to stifle opposition or the opinions of media outlets.    Cllr Newmark has our full support.”

Issued by Labour Group Whip Cllr Richard Butler

14 February 2019 (and subsequently updated on 26 February 2019)

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