Labour group calls on Jeremy Corbyn to apologise over 'anti-Semitic' Facebook group

Posted On: 
8th March 2018

A leading campaign group within the Labour party has called on Jeremy Corbyn to apologise for once being a member of a Facebook group whose members posted anti-Semitic comments.

Jeremy Corbyn left the Facebook group shortly after becoming Labour leader.
PA Images

Mr Corbyn left the secret Palestine Live group shortly after he became Labour leader in 2015.

A report published yesterday revealed that discussions on the page included conspiracy myths about the Rothschild family and Israeli involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

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It is also alleged that members of the group posted links to neo-Nazi material.

Labour has insisted that Mr Corbyn did not post any anti-Semitic material, and has launched an investigation into whether any party members did.

But Labour Friends of Israel - which is chaired by Joan Ryan MP and is backed by numerous Labour politicians - has called on Mr Corbyn to go further.

Jennifer Gerber, the organisation's director, said: "That Jeremy Corbyn was a member of a Facebook group frequented by anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and Israel-hating conspiracy theorists is both appalling and utterly unsurprising.

"We have long known about the kind of company that he keeps and this is simply further confirmation of a deeply disturbing pattern of behaviour. Mr Corbyn has repeatedly failed to apologise to the Jewish community and to recognise the hurt caused by his past actions and associations. Now would be a good time for him to do so."

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms in the strongest possible terms.

"He does not want the support of anti-Semites, who have no place whatsoever in the Labour movement. This Facebook group is being investigated and if Labour members are found to have posted anti-Semitic material, disciplinary action will be taken."

Labour has been hit by a series of anti-Semitism rows in the past two years.

An internal party probe carried out by Shami Chakrabarti in 2016 found that although there was sometimes a “toxic atmosphere” around anti-Semitism and racism in the party, it was not overrun with the problem.