My local MP, Lynne Featherstone, who is the LibDems spokesperson for Youth (she describes her age as 58) and Equality, has been put on the spot by the distinguished obstetrician and gynaecologist, Nick Morris. He has asked her to intervene in the row over Jenny Tonge and to call on Nick Clegg to withdraw the Liberal Democrat Whip from the noble baroness.
New readers start here: Baroness Jenny Tonge, who was Liberal Democrat spokesperson on health in the House of Lords made a public call for the Government of Israel to investigate allegations that Israeli Defence Force medical teams providing humanitarian assistance in Haiti had “harvested” organs from the injured. This bizarre repetition of the historic blood libel against the Jews provoked widespread condemnation.
Initially, Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg, stood by her. But then, as the row went on, showing the consistency and principle for which he is well-known, he sacked her as a Lords’ spokesperson. However, he did not remove the Liberal Democrat Whip from her, despite her having been sacked before as a LibDem front-bencher for expressing her empathy with Palestinian suicide bombers.
So what stance will the Party’s spokesperson on Equality (who also is an MP with a sizeable Jewish population in her marginal constituency) take on the issue?
Nick Morris starts his letter by pointing out:
“I have voted Lib Dem all my life.” (I suppose somebody has to.)
And goes on:
“My late father Professor Norman Morris was one of the original signatories of the SDP in 1981, but after Baroness Tonge’s most recent outburst I will not be able to vote for your party while Jenny Tonge holds the whip.
The reasons for this are both personal and professional. My brother David, who is a physician in Montreal was seconded to the IDF hospital in Haiti, along with Canadian Nationals and Columbian Health care workers. He wrote to me about the great pride he felt in working alongside the Israelis.
He too is a Liberal but lives in Canada – a country where outrageous comments such as those made by the Baroness would be taken much more seriously. She has slurred not only Israel but also all the health care professionals who went for humanitarian reasons from Canada and Columbia.”
His brother’s account is here.
Nick Morris calls for the Liberal Democrats to remove the Whip from Baroness Jenny Tonge and he urges Lynne Featherstone to take the issue to Nick Clegg for action.
I hope he is not holding his breath waiting for a positive response …..