Jeremy Corbyn Embroiled in New Anti-Semitism Row

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised by the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust as being “mocking and disrespectful” after meeting with Jewdas, a left-wing Jewish organisation. A number of Labour MPs have also criticised Corbyn for not going to meetings with Jewish groups who had said they were concerned about the party’s direction.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, said:

“This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle antisemitism. And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are OK. Irresponsible and dangerous”.

Angela Smith, the Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said:

“Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas seber reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour”.

Jeremy Corbyn is yet to comment on the allegations, but his office said that his visit was made in a personal capacity and not an official one.

Christine Shawcroft Plunges Labour into New Anti-Semitism Crisis

Christine Shawcroft, a member of the Labour’s governing National Executive Committee, has plunged the party into a new anti-semitism crisis after she has refused to stand down after backing a Holocaust denier party member. Shawcroft stood down from her disciplinary role on the committee, but has refused to resign from it.

Around 40 Labour MPs and Peers have today responded by writing a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, calling for Shawcroft to be suspended from the party pending an investigation. Some of the signatories of the letter are members of the Shadow Ministerial team, including Mike Kane, Jonathan Reynolds and Lord Hunt.

Corbyn has yet to comment on the letter, but John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said that the leadership would not intervene, saying “it’s an elected position and it’s up to the electorate to decide if she should be elected again”.

When standing down from the disciplinary role Shawcroft said that she hadn’t been aware of the situation when she called for the candidate to be reinstated and she said in a statement:

“I have decided to stand down as Chair of the Disputes Panel to ensure my wrong and misguided questions on this case do not cause doubt or anxiety about our processes. We must eliminate anti-Semitism from our party and wider society. To do this we must make sure our processes are as robust as possible and have the faith and confidence of our members”.

Jeremy Corbyn Faces Criticism From Jewish Groups Over Anti-Semitism

A letter written by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council has criticised Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, for failing to tackle the problems of anti-semitism. The letter comes ahead of a protest march which is planned for later today in Parliament Square in London.

In a statement the organisations wrote:

“Today, leaders of British Jewry tell Jeremy Corbyn that enough is enough. We have had enough of hearing that Jeremy Corbyn “opposes anti-Semitism”, whilst the mainstream majority of British Jews, and their concerns, are ignored by him and those he leads.

There is a repeated institutional failure to properly address Jewish concerns and to tackle anti-Semitism, with the Chakrabarti Report being the most glaring example of this.

Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism, but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.

When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views, but claims never to hear or read them.

Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.

When Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Jews expressed sincere and profound fears as to how such politics would impact upon their wellbeing. Our concerns were never taken seriously. Three years on, the party and British Jews are reaping the consequences.

Routine statements against anti-Semitism “and all forms of racism” get nowhere near dealing with the problem, because what distinguishes anti-Semitism from other forms of racism is the power that Jews are alleged to hold, and how they are charged with conspiring together against what is good.

This is not only historic, or about what Jeremy Corbyn did before being party leader. It is also utterly contemporary. There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews. We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that Isis terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.

Rightly or wrongly, Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an anti-Semitic political culture, based on obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news that is doing dreadful harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is the only person with the power to demand that it stops. Enough is enough”.

Jonathan Goldstein, the Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:

“This is the first time in my life time that the Jewish community has felt the need to take to the streets to campaign against the leader of a major political party. Rightly or wrongly Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an antisemitic political culture based upon obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news and that is doing great harm not just to the Labour party but to Britain in a wider sense”.

Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter:

“Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn antisemitism, which is why as leader of the Labour Party I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of antisemitism that exists in and around our movement”.

Jeremy Corbyn Criticised for Anti-Semitic Comments

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised for anti-semitism after he called for a mural to be kept which was anti-semitic. The mural, entitled ‘Freedom of Humanity’, was removed from East London in 2012.

At the time Corbyn had posted on Facebook referring to its removal:

“Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller [sic] destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin”.

Luciana Berger, the Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, had earlier said on Twitter:

“I asked the Leader’s Office for an explanation about this Facebook post first thing this morning. I’m still waiting for a response”.

After being asked about his comments Corbyn said:

“I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic”.

Berger responded by saying that Corbyn’s response had been “wholly inadequate”.

Ian Austin, the Labour MP for Dudley North, also criticised his leader, saying:

“Jeremy would never have defended racist imagery aimed at any other group”.

Jeremy Corbyn Sacks Owen Smith from Shadow Cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has sacked Owen Smith from his position as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland due to Smith’s article in the Guardian on Brexit. Smith had called in the article for the public to be given a vote on the final deal reached in the Brexit negotiations.

Smith said on Twitter:

“Just been sacked by @jeremycorbyn for my long held views on the damage #Brexit will do to the Good Friday Agreement & the economy of the entire U.K. Those views are shared by Labour members & supporters and I will continue to speak up for them, and in the interest of our country”.

Tony Lloyd has replaced Smith as the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, moving from his current position as the Shadow Housing Minister.

Owen Smith, the former Labour Leadership Candidate, Calls for a Public Vote on the Brexit Deal

Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd and former candidate for the Labour leadership, has called for a public vote on the final Brexit deal. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Smith said “Labour should ask if Brexit is the right decision, not just push for a softer version”.

Smith wrote:

“Labour needs to do more than just back a soft Brexit or guarantee a soft border in Ireland. Given that it is increasingly obvious that the promises the Brexiters made to the voters – especially, but not only, their pledge of an additional £350m a week for the NHS – are never going to be honoured, we have the right to keep asking if Brexit remains the right choice for the country. And to ask, too, that the country has a vote on whether to accept the terms, and true costs of that choice, once they are clear. That is how Labour can properly serve our democracy and the interests of our people”.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has previously ruled out a second vote, but is yet to comment on Smith’s proposals.

John McDonnell Says Vladimir Putin was Responsible for Salisbury Attack

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has clarified Labour’s position on the Salisbury attack and said that he considers that the Russians were responsible. He also denied that Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, had a different policy and said that the Labour Party was supportive of the Government’s position.

When asked if McDonnell thought that Putin was responsible for the attack he said:

“He is responsible whichever way you look at it, he is responsible and all the evidence points to him”.

When asked if Jeremy Corbyn had a different policy and was critical of the Prime Minister, McDonnell said:

“It was a critique. It was asking questions about investment in diplomacy, it was asking questions about where you go from here in building that international coalition. That is what oppositions do and it was a constructive critique, I think others have misread that”.

Guy Verhofstadt in London to discuss Brexit with Prime Minister

Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament, has met with Theresa May, the Prime Minister. Verhofstadt also met Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, for on-going talks about the Brexit negotiations.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:

“This morning the Prime Minister met Guy Verhofstadt MEP at Downing Street, as part of ongoing engagement with representatives from the European Parliament.

The Prime Minister and Mr Verhofstadt discussed the importance of citizens’ rights, including the proposals the UK put forward last week regarding EU citizens arriving during the implementation period. The Prime Minister reiterated that the expectations of those moving to the UK in this period will not be the same as those who arrived before our withdrawal.

The Prime Minister restated her commitment to avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland and noted the importance of officials from the Irish government, the European Commission and the UK meeting to discuss practical solutions.

They discussed the European Parliament’s proposals for an institutional framework to support a close future relationship between the UK and the EU and the Prime Minister explained the vision for the future economic partnership set out in her Mansion House speech.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster David Lidington and the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis attended the meeting. Mr Verhofstadt also met the Home Secretary Amber Rudd after the meeting”.

Verhofstadt said on Twitter:

“So many British people feel and are proud to be European. The welcome I received today in London was overwhelming. It is my priority and that of the European Parliament to make sure that citizens’ rights are protected after Brexit”.

Labour Leader Confirms the Party Now Back Membership of Customs Union

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has confirmed in a speech made today at Coventry University that the Labour Party will back the UK’s membership of a customs union. The decision means that the Conservative Party may now struggle to get their legislation through the House of Commons due to a number of MPs who support remaining in the union.

Corbyn said:

“During the transition period, Labour would seek to remain in a customs union with the EU and within the single market. That means we would abide by the existing rules of both. That is so the government, businesses and workers only have to make one adjustment, from the current situation to the final terms”.

He added:

“Labour would seek a final deal that gives full access to European markets and maintains the benefits of the single market and the customs union as the Brexit Secretary, David Davis promised in the House of Commons, with no new impediments to trade and no reduction in rights, standards and protections.

We have long argued that a customs union is a viable option for the final deal. So Labour would seek to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and to help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland”.

Carolyn Fairbairn, the Director General of the CBI, welcomed the decision and said that it “put jobs and living standards first by remaining in a close economic relationship with the EU”. Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, criticised the Labour leader and said “Labour’s confused policy would be bad for jobs and wages, it would leave us unable to sign up to comprehensive free trade deals, and it doesn’t respect the result of the referendum”.

Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, Quits His Post

Iain McNicol, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, has confirmed that he is to stand down from his role. It is expected that a replacement more loyal to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, will replace him. He will remain in his post until a replacement is appointed.

McNicol said in a statement:

“It’s been an absolute honour and a privilege to serve as general secretary of the Labour party. I have now decided to move on to pursue new challenges in the service of the Labour party and wider labour movement”.

Jeremy Corbyn said:

“I would like to personally thank Iain McNicol for his long and dedicated service to the Labour party”.