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Jewish Labour Movement says Jeremy Corbyn should step down 'immediately' after 'devastating' election loss

Jewish Labour Movement says Jeremy Corbyn should step down 'immediately' after 'devastating' election loss
4 min read

Jeremy Corbyn should resign as Labour leader "immediately" following his "devastating" general election defeat, the party's century-old Jewish affiliate has said.


The Jewish Labour Movement, which has been fiercely critical of Mr Corbyn's handling of anti-semitism, said voters had "rejected" the party and pointed the finger "squarely" at the man at its head.

Labour suffered its worst general election result in more than 80 years on Thursday night, but while Mr Corbyn has vowed not to fight another national contest, he has pledged to to stay on during a "period of reflection".

However, the JLM - who refused to fully campaign for the party in the run-up to the vote - urged the leadership to respond quickly to the bruising at the hands of voters.

"Labour’s failure in this election lies squarely with the Party’s leadership," the group said in a statement.

"Because of the public’s rejection of Corbyn as Prime Minister, the confused position on Brexit, or its total failure to tackle anti-Jewish racism, the Party must truly listen."

The group meanwhile said it was "distraught" that Ruth Smeeth, its parliamentary chair, was not re-elected as MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, saying her loss would be "felt by the entire Labour movement".

Ms Smeeth on Friday morning said the Labour leader "should have gone many, many, many months ago".

And she added: "Jeremy Corbyn's actions on antisemitism have made us the nasty party. We are the racist party."

The JLM said: "Despite a decade of austerity, the risk of years of Brexit chaos, and a nation hungry for political change, the public have rejected Labour and instead elected another Tory Government under the leadership of Boris Johnson.

“This will do nothing to heal a divided country and instead stoke the rising tide of racism, Islamophobia, anti-semitism and hatred within our society. Our public services and our NHS are severely at risk.

"After this historic election defeat, Jeremy Corbyn must stand down immediately. His team and supporters who have been responsible for Labour’s moral and political failures must take responsibility themselves for allowing five more years of Tory rule."

'ELECTORAL CATASTROPHE'

Labour is currently under investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission [EHRC] over its response to allegations of anti-semitism in its ranks, and was heavily criticised by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in the run-up to the December 12 poll.

The party has vowed to overhaul its disciplinary procedures in a bid to root out anti-Jewish abuse and has said it is "taking robust action to root out" the problem by speeding up the handling of cases.

Reacting to the election result, the Board of Deputies of British Jews urged Boris Johnson - whose party has faced its own controversy over Islamophobia - to “put an end to the toxicity and prejudice which has become too regular a feature of our politics”.

And the Board's president Marie van der Zyl said of the Labour leader: “When he eventually steps back, history will not look kindly on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, where anti-Jewish racism has been allowed to run amok and some at the highest levels of the party have appeared to collude to protect anti-semites.

“We urge the next leader of the Labour Party to act quickly to implement the steps repeatedly recommended by Jewish communal groups to begin solving this crisis and moving our politics forward.”

Euan Philipps of the Labour Against Anti-semitism campaign group meanwhile said: “The next leader must be prepared to take all necessary measures to deal with Corbyn’s legacy of anti-Jewish hatred, including cooperating fully with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation.

"Failure to do so will only lead to further electoral catastrophe for the Labour Party.”

Conservative Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Friday used an election victory speech to take direct aim at Labour's response to anti-semitism as he addressed Jewish voters.

"You have had to live in fear for months now concerns we will have a prime minister who trafficked in anti-Jewish rhetoric and embraced anti-Jewish terrorists," Mr Gove said.

"You should never have to live in fear again."

But two of his party's winning candidates, Sally Ann-Hart in Hastings & Rye and Lee Anderson in Ashfield, are both currently under investigation for alleged anti-semitism online.

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