WATCH: Former Labour frontbencher says Jeremy Corbyn 'has been a perpetrator of anti-Semitism'

Posted On: 
13th September 2018

Jeremy Corbyn "has been a perpetrator of anti-Semitism", a former Labour frontbencher has declared.

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour party.
PA Images

Lord Mendelsohn made his comments as peers debated the rise of Jew hatred in the UK in recent years.

The Labour peer, who was his party's spokesman for business, energy and industrial strategy in the Lords until last January, said the problem "has never been gripped" during Mr Corbyn's time as leader.

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Pointing to polling which showed nearly 40% of Jews said they would leave the UK if Mr Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, he said: "How is it that part of the UK now feels that a party that has always stood up for justice, liberty and progress is the wrong one to entrust their lives and that of their children so intensely to the point that so many are considering emigration?"

Referring to far-left anti-semitism in the 1980s and 1990s, the peer said: "Far too few of the non-Labour party left were prepared to accept it then, but it illustrates a direct line, the politics of which have entered en masse the Labour party and now causes this current crisis - a crisis which has never been gripped since the beginning of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and which over the summer has placed his position, his record, his views and his conduct at the heart of it.

"It astounds me that it is a revelation no longer worthy of questioning that I too believe that the leader of my party, Jeremy Corbyn, has been a perpetrator of anti-Semitism."

TV personality Lord Sugar, who was given a peerage by Gordon Brown and served in the last Labour government, said Mr Corbyn "doesn't give two hoots about what Jews in the UK think".

He said: "The Labour leader leader allowed the issue of alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour party to ramble on for months. What type of leader is he not to take his party by the scruff of the neck and make them see sense and kill the matter off once and for all?"

The businessman, who sits in the Lords as a crossbencher, added: "I think Mr Corbyn allowed matters to ramble on because he doesn't give two hoots about what Jews in the the UK think. He simply does not care."

Former chief rabbi Lord Sacks, who recently described the Labour leader as "an anti-Semite", took another swipe at him during the debate.

He said: "Anti-Semitism or any hate becomes dangerous when three things happen. First, when it moves from the fringes of parties to a mainstream party and its leadership.

"Second, when the party sees that it's popularity with the public is not harmed thereby, and three, when those who stand up to protest and vilified for doing so.

"All three factors exist in Britain now and I never thought I would see this in my lifetime."

A Labour party spokesperson said: "Jeremy Corbyn has made clear he is a militant opponent of anti-Semitism and is absolutely committed to tackling it."


Meanwhile, a political activist accused of vandalising the Warsaw ghetto has pulled out of a Momentum festival being held alongside the Labour conference in Liverpool next week.

Ewa Jasiewicz and another woman spray-painted "Liberate all ghettos" and "Free Gaza and Palestine" on one of the few remaining walls of the Warsaw ghetto - where an estimated 92,000 Jews died in the Second World War - in 2010.

She had been due to speak at The World Transformed, a politics and arts festival where Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are also among those appearing.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson yesterday called on Momentum to drop Ms Jasiewicz "on the grounds of taste and decency".

A spokesman for the campaign group said: "Ewa will no longer be speaking at The World Transformed.