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Sat, 28 November 2020

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Keir Starmer heaps praise on Chief Rabbi who said Jeremy Corbyn was ‘unfit for high office’

Keir Starmer heaps praise on Chief Rabbi who said Jeremy Corbyn was ‘unfit for high office’

Keir Starmer said it was 'an honour and privilege' to speak to Chief Rabbi Mirvis (PA)

2 min read

Keir Starmer has praised on the UK’s Chief Rabbi just months after he declared that Jeremy Corbyn was "unfit" to become Prime Minister.

The Labour leader said it was “an honour and privilege” to speak to Ephraim Mirvis on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rabbi Mirvis was criticised by Mr Corbyn's supporters following his dramatic intervention in the general election campaign last November.

Writing in The Times, he said: "A new poison - sanctioned from the very top - has taken root in the Labour Party."

Rabbi Mirvis said Jews had "been treated by many as an irritant, as opposed to a minority community with genuine concerns" for questioning Labour's attempts to tackle anti-Jewish racism.

And he added: "How complicit in prejudice would a leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition have to be to be considered unfit for office?

"Would associations with those who have incited hatred against Jews be enough? Would describing as ‘friends’ those who endorse the murder of Jews be enough? It seems not."

But following their talks on Tuesday, Sir Keir tweeted: "It was an honour and privilege to speak to the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis on such a solemn day. 

"I welcomed the opportunity to express my solidarity with the Jewish community on Yom HaShoah. Thank you for your time and I look forward to strengthening our ties.”

In respinse, Rabbi Mirvis tweeted: "Thank you to Sir Keir Starmer for his personal call today to convey his solidarity with the Jewish community as we mark Yom Hashoah. 

"I welcomed hearing directly of his commitment to take the necessary action to root out antisemitism from the Labour Party as a top priority. 

"It is heartening that the task of rebuilding the Jewish community’s trust in the Labour Party has begun."

Sir Keir has pledged to "tear out the poison" of anti-semitism from the party in his first speech after his landslide victory in the leadership election.

He said he was "sorry" for the hurt caused during Mr Corbyn's leadership and vowed to make Labour a welcoming environment for Jews again.

It also emerged that senior members of the Jewish community will be invited in to Labour's HQ to provide staff with training on tackling anti-semitism, saying there was a "cultural problem" with anti-Jewish racism which needed to be solved.

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