Jeremy Corbyn faces standoff with Momentum chief over anti-Semitism

Posted On: 
9th August 2018

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure from Momentum chief Jon Lansman to take a tougher line on anti-Semitism and unite his warring party, it has been reported.

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised over Labour's anti-Semitism stance
Credit: 
PA

According to Jewish News, the founder of the left-wing campaign group – who is also on Labour’s ruling NEC – has been lobbying Mr Corbyn for weeks and is preparing to break ranks over the issue.

The party has been plagued by infighting since it failed to fully adopt the widely-used International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism as part of a new code of conduct.

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Labour is now consulting on the new code amid rumours that the leadership is preparing to backdown and accept more of the IHRA’s examples included in the definition. 

But sources close to Mr Lansman said he “regretted” that Mr Corbyn had failed to commit to adopting the definition in full.

A source close the Momentum boss said: “Like many other leading party members close to the leadership, he recognises the necessity of agreeing that definition in order to be able to begin to rebuild trust with the Jewish community, whatever concerns we may have about the application of some examples.”  

Meanwhile, Politico reports that a leading union is also calling for the leadership to backdown ahead of a crunch meeting on 4 September.

According to a senior source there is now a majority on the NEC to defeat Mr Corbyn over the issue.

The official said: “That it has come to this is a total disaster. It could cost the Labour party the next election.

“My view now is we are going to move, significantly, making the concession, with all of the examples.

“I’m confident that we will. It’s a matter of the choreography.”

The IHRA decision has caused a backlash among MPs and Jewish groups, culminating in a confrontation between the Labour leader and Jewish veteran MP Margaret Hodge.

An inquiry was launched into the exchange, but has subsequently been dropped. The NewStatesman has since claimed that twelve Labour MPs were ready to resign in support of Ms Hodge.