Tony Blair says there is no place for 'poison' of antisemitism in Labour Party as row continues

The former Prime Minister said he was looking forward to 'strong conclusions' from an internal inquiry

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 04 May 2016 11:48 BST
Tony Blair called antisemitism a 'poison' that Labour was fighting
Tony Blair called antisemitism a 'poison' that Labour was fighting (PA)

Tony Blair has said there is “no place” for antisemitism in the Labour Party as the furore continues to rage following the suspension of Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and several local councillors.

The former Prime Minister praised Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to set up an inquiry into the issue and introduce a new code of conduct.

“I know I speak for the overwhelming majority of Labour Party members when I say there’s absolutely no place for antisemitism in our party,” Mr Blair told Bloomberg during an interview in Los Angeles.

Corbyn on Livingstone remarks

“On the contrary, we have always been strong and powerful campaigners against that type of prejudice and that sort of poison.

“It’s been a difficult time but we’ll have this inquiry take its course and I’m sure it will come out with some very strong conclusions.”

Mr Blair was made the chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation last year, which combats antisemitism, racism and extremism.

His successor insisted there was “no crisis” within the Labour Party last week, amid outrage over Mr Livingstone’s claim that Adolf Hitler “supported Zionism”.

The former Mayor of London was defending Ms Shah, the MP for Bradford West, after she was suspended over a Facebook post she shared in 2014 showing Israel being “relocated” to the US.

Ms Shah stood down from her post on the Home Affairs Select Committee as the row continued on Tuesday.

The committee is conducting a separate inquiry into antisemitism in the UK, which could see David Cameron and Mr Corbyn among the prominent politicians giving evidence.

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