WATCH: Labour has an anti-Semitism problem, says Momentum boss
The leader of grassroots pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum has said Labour does have a problem with anti-Semitism, which “has to be dealt with”.
Jon Lansman said it would be “extremely surprising” if there were not instances of bigotry within the party, but that it was a wider societal issue.
“Anti-Semitism is a problem throughout society. It would be extremely surprising if it wasn’t also present in the Labour party, alongside other forms of discrimination, which is why I’m so pleased that the NEC put a statement that made very clear our absolute opposition to all forms of discrimination," he said.
Mr Lansman, who is himself Jewish, said the issue was "incredibly important" to him and that an awareness of the historical persecution against the community is the root of many of his views.
“It incredible important to me as a Jew. My reading as a child about the oppression and victimisation of Jews through the centuries...is what defined my politics,” he added.
When asked whether there was a "blindness" on the left towards the issue of anti-Semitism, given comments by Unite leader Len McCluskey and hard-left film-maker Ken Loach that they had not seen cases in the Labour party, he added: “You have to be a Jew to actually experience anti-Semitism. I have experienced anti-Semitism, my children who are only half Jewish have experienced it.
“I know there is a problem with anti-semitism and it has to be dealt with.”