Over 80 per cent of British Jews believe the Labour party is too tolerant of anti-Semitism among its own MPs, members and supporters, a new poll has found.
According to the poll by YouGov for the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), which surveyed 2,025 British Jews over the last month, nearly two in 10 – 19 per cent – of respondents believed the Conservatives were not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism in the party’s ranks.
Despite this being a seven per cent increase for Theresa May’s party since the question was last polled in 2016, it is the lowest of all the major political parties. For the Liberal Democrats, 36 per cent of British Jews felt more could be done, while 41 per cent said the same for Ukip and 40 per cent for the Green Party.
But despite Labour’s inquiry into anti-Semitism within the party’s ranks last year and a manifesto pledge to “build a society and world free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”, the vast majority of respondents said the party needs to do more. 83 per cent of those polled said they believed Labour was too tolerant of anti-Semitism within its ranks – a four per cent decrease on last year when the question was last polled by CAA.
The authors of the report conclude that Labour party supporters “are less likely to be anti-Semitic than other voters, so the cause of British Jews’ discontentment with the party must be the way that it has very publicly failed to robustly deal with the anti-Semites in its ranks”.
“This means that the Labour party has fallen out of step with its core supporters, who are generally less likely to hold anti-Semitic beliefs,” they add.
The poll also found that a further 65 per cent of respondents believe the Government does not do enough to protect British Jews, while 52 per cent said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) could do more.
In response to the findings, former cabinet minister Eric Pickles said modern anti-Semitism has been allowed to “flourish in the left of British politics, unchallenged by the Labour leadership”.
The report, he added, should be a “wake-up call” for the party.
A Labour spokesperson, however, said the party campaigns against anti-Semitism and “condemns all anti-Semitic abuse”.
“That’s why Jeremy Corbyn set up the Chakrabarti inquiry into anti-Semitism,” he added. “It’s recommendations have already led to far-reaching changes to the practices of the Labour party.”
“The party has also taken decisive disciplinary action over allegations of anti-Semitism and will continue to do so in the future.”
Gideon Falter, the chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “We now have data that shows that in a very British way, fairly and quietly, Britons have been rejecting anti-Semitic prejudice.
“British society has shunned a growing worldwide addiction to anti-Semitism and proved that so-called British values are no mere buzzphrase, but are embedded in our national being.
“However, our research shows that one in three British Jews has become so fearful of mounting anti-Semitic crime and the failure to excise anti-Semites from politics that they have considered leaving Britain altogether.
“Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour Party. If British society can fight anti-Semitism, why are our world-renowned criminal justice system and some of our famous political parties still doing too little?”