In comments caught on tape, Corbyn acknowledged that the rampant anti-Semitism in his party has been ignored and vowed to clean it up.
By World Israel News Staff
U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn conceded that he has ignored anti-Semitism in his party, the Sunday Times revealed over the weekend.
During a meeting with Labour Member of Parliament Margaret Hodge, a party member for over 50 years who herself has been a victim of anti-Semitic abuse and had accused the party leader personally of anti-Semitism, Corbyn said that he would appoint Lord Falconer, a former government minister, to deal with the problem, the Times reported.
Falconer “will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them, and the collation of the evidence before it is put before appropriate panels and things,” Corbyn said in comments leaked to the Times, adding that he “was concerned that evidence was either being mislaid, ignored or not used and that there had to be some better system.”
In November, the U.K. Metropolitan Police launched a criminal probe over accusations of anti-Semitic hate crimes within the Labour Party, acting on a dossier of information provided by the Campaign Against Antisemitism to London police chief Cressida Dick.
The dossier consists of more than 80 pages of anti-Semitic vitriol by Labour figures, including Holocaust denial and wishes to harm Jewish Labour members.
Last summer, various Jewish groups published a joint editorial in the U.K.’s three leading Jewish newspapers, warning of the “existential” threat Corbyn poses to British Jewry.
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former U.K. chief rabbi, has labelled Corbyn an anti-Semite who “has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.”
In February, Joan Ryan became the eighth U.K. Labour member to leave the party over charges of anti-Semitism. In a statement, Ms. Ryan slammed Mr. Corbyn, saying, “He’s allowed the Labour Party to become institutionally anti-Semitic, and he has a direct responsibility as leader.”
Earlier this month, former British Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined the Jewish Labour Movement in an act of solidarity with the Jewish community, denouncing his own party for allowing the “demonization of the entire Jewish people.”
On Monday, following the Times’ publication of the meeting, a group of MPs wrote an open letter to the Labour leader demanding a new independent body to deal with the issue, the Sun reported.
“Despite telling us things are better, the party has clearly failed to get to grips with its anti-Semitism problem. There must be a real change at the top of the party,” they stated.
The Sun reports that a Labour spokesman defended Mr. Corbyn’s comments on the leaked tape, saying it “shows Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community,”
“The Labour party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”
A Labour staff member has been suspended on suspicion of leaking the file to the press, the Sun reported.