Jeremy Corbyn ‘doesn't have authority to speak about Windrush’ due to Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis – as he faces showdown with Jewish community leaders
Chuka Umunna, one of the party’s leading MPs, says it has “lost its moral compass” on the issue as Mr Corbyn prepares to meet Jewish community leaders this afternooon.
A Holocaust survivor has urged the party boss to take much stronger action after it emerged just one of 75 complaints of anti-Jewish hatred resulted in expulsion from the party.
Susan Pollack told BBC Radio 4's Today: "He has to act and he has to show his leadership, and then I think that's the only way we will have respect.”
The Times reported today that doubts were cast over the sincerity of Labour’s vow to tackle anti-Semitism as Labour Against Antisemitism expressed concern that dozens of incidents they reported did not lead to any sanctions for members.
They said one activist who shared posts online calling Israeli soldiers “ZioNazis” was only given a warning, and another who reposted an article claiming the whole crisis was manufactured “by the Israel lobby” was not disciplined at all.
Questioned on the subject, the shadow cabinet minister Andrew Gwynne insisted members must admit the party has a problem.
Asked if Mr Corbyn had shown leadership on the issue, Mr Gwynne sidestepped the question, saying: "I think what we have now got to do – and we have got an issue in the Labour Party – we have got to acknowledge that that problem exists and, for some, that is a challenge.
"For me, the Labour Party was created to fight injustice, to fight against prejudice, to fight against hatred, and that we are where we are really hurts me, so we have got to act."
Mr Gwynne acknowledged the party's disciplinary process had taken "far, far too long" in deciding cases such as former London mayor Ken Livingstone.
And Mr Umunna said despite a report finding there is “endemic anti-Semitism in parts of the Labour Party”, some “continue to deny that it was and remains a problem”.
And he said even when there is an admission of the problem “too often it is followed by an avalanche of ‘whataboutery’ by people in the party”.
The former Shadow Business Secretary blasted Mr Corbyn in a column for the Independent, saying he was “incapable of acknowledging the Labour movement has a particular problem with anti-Semitism”.
Mr Umunna wrote: “He even went so far as to insinuate that we were using the issue as a ‘weapon’ (his words, not mine) for political purposes.
“Coming from a family which has had direct experience of racism, I found this to be grossly insulting and offensive.”
He added: It is therefore unsurprising that antisemitism has continued unabated in and around the Labour Party since 2016.
“Nothing currently illustrates just how broken British politics has become than the issue of antisemitism in Labour and the Tories’ appalling treatment of the Windrush generation.
“Each of the main parties attacks the other on the issue, but both lack the credibility to do so in the eyes of many because of their party’s record on addressing prejudice within their own ranks.”
His comments come ahead of Mr Corbyn’s showdown at 5pm with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council.
The organisations will call on him to use his "personal authority" to drive through changes to wipe out the problem in the party.
But Jenny Manson, co-chair of the Corbyn-supporting Jewish Voice for Labour, said "none of us in my group have ever experienced any anti-Semitism in the Labour Party" – and warned against a "witch hunt".
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