You may recall Baroness Jenny Tonge landed herself in hot water at the Lib Dem party conference this year for saying at a fringe meeting “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they have probably got a certain grip on our party.”
The Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel leapt on the remarks. Yesterday, Ming Campbell wrote what is apparently a stern letter of rebuke to Jenny. He said later (in a comment that I’m reading straight from a Board of Deputies press release, not from a party source):
“I have acted with the maximum powers at my disposal at this time. I have written to Baroness Tonge dissociating myself and the party from her deeply offensive remarks and what I believe to be their clear antisemitic connotations. I have asked for a review of the disciplinary powers available to the Liberal Democrat leaders in both the House of Lords and Commons.”
This is not enough for Gavin Stollar of the Lib Dem Friends of Israel, who says in the same press release:
“We welcome both Ming Campbell’s unequivocal condemnation of Jenny Tonge’s comments, and his categorical distancing of the Party from her.. In the coming days and weeks we will work closely with colleagues inside the Party to ensure every avenue is explored towards removing Baroness Tonge from the Liberal Democrat benches in the House of Lords.”
Jenny, if you’d like to respond, e-mail me.