Hundreds join demonstration accusing Jeremy Corbyn of 'broken promise' on antisemitism

Campaign Against Antisemitism has accused Labour of failing to investigate the complaint that the leader has brought the party into disrepute

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Sunday 08 April 2018 17:26
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Anti-semitism protesters shout 'Corbyn Out' during demo at Labour HQ

Hundreds of people joined a demonstration outside Labour’s headquarters, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of a “broken promise” of zero tolerance for antisemitism.

A crowd waving British flags and placards braved rain in central London to stage the protest organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Messages on placards read “Zero tolerance for antisemitism”, “Labour hold Corbyn to account” and “Antisemitism is racism”.

There were shouts of “Corbyn out”, “racists” and “shame” – and boos when the Labour leader was named by speakers.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism has accused Labour of failing to investigate properly its complaint that Mr Corbyn has brought the party into disrepute.

The Labour leader has acknowledged that his party had been “too slow” in dealing with cases of antisemitism and apologised for the “hurt” it had caused – calling himself a “militant opponent of antisemitism”.

But actor Maureen Lipman, who was among the demonstrators, said she was “a disenfranchised socialist” and identified with a placard reading “Corbyn made me a Tory”.

She attacked the Labour leader for attending a Passover Seder organised by left-wing Jewish group Jewdas, saying it was “the absolute cherry on the top of Jeremy Corbyn’s behaviour”.

“He is standing with elements who are against everything that we stand for; hardworking, decent Jewish people of whom I am incredibly proud,” Ms Lipman said.

Earlier Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, said she was “frustrated” by the speed with which the party has responded to a report on antisemitism.

The Chakrabarti report, in 2016, found an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” and made 20 recommendations, including procedural changes, to improve the party’s disciplinary process.

It also called for the appointment of a lawyer to give advice on issues, including disciplinary matters, and to take responsibility for instructing external lawyers.

Ms Rayner told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’ve been a little frustrated that we haven’t moved forward on the Chakrabarti report as fast as I would’ve liked to have seen.

“We need to make sure that the full Chakrabarti report is implemented and that we have an absolute zero tolerance.

“It can’t be right when people see on social media – and it’s not just the Labour Party but across the board – antisemitic rhetoric and they see no action taken or that action is far too slow.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “As Jeremy Corbyn has strongly stated, Labour is committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms. He has asked the new General Secretary to make stamping it out her number one priority.”

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