Jeremy Corbyn told to speak 'louder' on antisemitism by Sir Keir Starmer

Shadow Brexit Secretary says he will speak to his party leader amid fresh concerns over Labour's disciplinary processes

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Friday 19 January 2018 19:34
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Sir Keir Starmer said he would speak to Jeremy Corbyn about toughening his stance on antisemitism
Sir Keir Starmer said he would speak to Jeremy Corbyn about toughening his stance on antisemitism

Sir Keir Starmer has told Jeremy Corbyn to be “louder” in condemning antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The Shadow Brexit Secretary vowed to ask his party leader to be more vocal on the issue after a series of high-profile incidents involving Labour members being accused of expressing anti-Jewish views.

Speaking at an annual dinner in Barnet hosted by the Masorti Jewish community, Sir Keir was quoted by The Jewish Chronicle as saying: “Jeremy Corbyn has said that antisemitism has no place in the Labour Party. If that isn’t getting through, then he needs to say it again and louder – and I’m very happy to make sure that happens.”

The Holborn and St Pancras MP also highlighted the action that Mr Corbyn has taken to address antisemitism in his party, including backing a rule change to make it easier for disciplinary action to be taken against antisemites and those expressing other forms of prejudice.

Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, also spoke at the event.

Earlier this week the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), which represents Jewish Labour activists, warned Mr Corbyn there must be “no further excuses” for failing to tackle antisemitism in the party.

Representatives of the group met with Mr Corbyn’s team and raised concerns after the chair of a key Labour disciplinary committee was ousted and replaced by a director of Momentum who herself was previously suspended by Labour.

Christine Shawcroft, a staunch ally of the Labour leader, was elected to chair the disputes panel, which plays a role in investigating allegations of antisemitism and other breaches of party rules. The panel decides whether cases should be referred to the party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) to investigate further.

Jeremy Newmark, chair of JLM, said: “We met with the leader’s office … to share the concerns that have been expressed.

“It is our understanding that all of the recommendations placed before the [disputes panel] yesterday on antisemitism cases were either adopted or strengthened.

“We also understand that the committee addressed our complaints that serious disputes are currently taking far too long to conclude.

“The next few weeks will see the NCC consider a number of high-profile cases of antisemitism. The results will send an important signal to the Jewish community.

“Having strengthened its rules at party conference last year, there can be no further excuses for failure to deliver a gold standard in acting on antisemitism.”

A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn said: “Jeremy has consistently condemned and campaigned against all forms of antisemitism and he will continue to do so.”

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