Fresh blow for Labour as Hindu Council claims party discriminates against community
A major group representing Hindus living in the UK has accused Labour of becoming "a racist party under Jeremy Corbyn".
Hindu Council UK accused Labour of "polarising Hindu and Muslim relations", as it threw its weight behind criticism from the Chief Rabbi of the party's handling of anti-semitism.
A major row erupted on Tuesday after Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said the Labour leader was "unfit for high office" over his failure to tackle anti-Jewish racism in his party.
In a letter to Rabbi Mirvis, Anil Bhanot of Hindu Council UK wrote to express his "support" for the intervention.
And he added: "We at the Hindu Council UK concur that Labour has increasing[ly] become anti-Semitic and anti-Hindu."
The Hindu Council has been sharply critical of Labour over a motion passed at its autumn conference which criticised India's actions in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
India stripped the region of its special constitutional status over the summer - prompting the Labour motion which warned of a "major humanitarian crisis" and urged the party to stand with those "fighting against occupation".
In the group's letter, Hindu Council UK said Mr Corbyn had "remained silent" amid "strident" anti-India protests, and said the Hindu community had been "excluded and dumped" from Labour's candidate selection process.
They added: "Jeremy Corbyn always speaks against Islamophobia, whereas any anti-Semitic and anti-Hindu positions remain unchallenged.
"It is a sad state of affairs that a major political party in our country which used to be a progressive socialist voice has veered towards what almost is a fascist ideology."
The letter went on: "Naturally we pray for peace and harmony in all our communities, and above all for the justice necessary at a political policy level. We unequivocally support your brave stand which I hope will lead to that review by the party and thank you for speaking out."
The intervention follows support for the Chief Rabbi from the Muslim Council of Britain, which said the Jewish leader had highlighted the "unacceptable presence of anti-semitism in Britain and in politics today".
But the Muslim umbrella group also trained its fire on the Conservatives, warning that the party had responded to allegations of Islamophobia with "denial, dismissal and deceit".
"It is abundantly clear to many Muslims that the Conservative Party tolerate Islamophobia, allow it to fester in society, and fail to put in place the measures necessary to root out this type of racism. It is as if the Conservative Party has a blind spot for this type of racism," the group said.