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Lisa Nandy promises 'zero tolerance' of anti-semitism if she becomes Labour leader

Lisa Nandy promises 'zero tolerance' of anti-semitism if she becomes Labour leader
3 min read

Lisa Nandy has vowed to take a "zero tolerance" approach to tackling anti-semitism if she becomes Labour leader.

The Wigan MP spoke out as she unveiled the strategy she would implement for tackling anti-Jewish racism if she wins the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

She said the document - 'Tackling Antisemitism: An action plan for our party' - was necessary as a way of convincing Jewish people that it is safe for them to be Labour members.

Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Nandy said it was "make-or-break time" for the party in terms of its relations with the Jewish community.

Labour has been hit by a string of anti-semitism scandals in recent years, with claims that it failed to properly deal with the problem under Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Ms Nandy said: "My [Jewish] friends in the party have spent the last few years questioning on a daily basis whether they should remain.

"They’ve had to face a lot of hostility from other people about their decision to stay. So this is make-or-break time for a lot of people.

"They need to know that, going forward, starting on 4 April, the party has understood the level of the crisis of trust that we have, and that we’re going to change."

Under her action plan, Ms Nandy said Labour would accept any recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is conducting an investigation into anti-semitism within the party.

A new, independent process for handling anti-semitism complaints would also be set up under her leadership, she said.

In a direct swipe at Mr Corbyn and those around him, Ms Nandy said there had been a "failure or refusal to grapple with this at the highest levels in the party over the last four years”

She added: "One of the most shameful things I’ve ever seen was a group of Jewish women MPs at a parliamentary Labour party meeting begging the leadership to take seriously the need to adopt an internationally adopted definition of antisemitism.

"The response from the top table was: ‘We know better than you do what constitutes anti-semitism."

And she told the Jewish Chronicle: "If people are anti-semites they should not be voting for me - and I am aware that we still have as a lot of work to do in the party in terms of taking a robust and zero tolerance approach to tackling the problem."

Ms Nandy published her plans ahead of a leadership hustings arranged by the Jewish Labour Movement later this week.

The JLM, which has been affiliated to Labour for nearly 100 years, was a fierce critic of Mr Corbyn's handling of anti-semitism and refused to endorse the party at last year's general election.

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