Sadiq Khan joins Jewish Labour Movement as he says party has been 'far too slow' to tackle anti-semitism

Posted On: 
15th April 2019

Sadiq Khan has joined the Jewish Labour Movement in a bid to show "support and appreciation" for Jewish people amid Labour's ongoing anti-semitism controversy.

The London mayor said standing with oppressed people 'goes to the very core of Labour values'.
Credit: 
PA

The mayor of London said he was "proud" to join former prime minister Gordon Brown in becoming an affiliated member of the organisation, which has been sharply critical of the party's efforts to combat anti-Jewish abuse.

Last month JLM - which has been formally affiliated to Labour since 1920 - passed a motion branding Jeremy Corbyn "unfit to be Prime Minister" over his handling of the anti-semitism crisis.

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Mr Khan said: "I know it’s been an extremely difficult time for members of the Jewish Labour Movement.

"Like me, the vast majority of those within the party are devastated by how let down the Jewish community and Jewish Labour members are feeling.

“That’s why it’s so important that we come together across the Labour movement to do whatever we can to make Jewish people feel at home in our party once again."

The motion passed by the JLM last month said Labour bosses had "fundamentally failed to address anti-semitism" in the party and accused officials of "continuing to provoke" the body.

In his message of support for the group, Mr Khan said: "There’s no question, in my mind, that the Labour party has been far too slow at stamping out appalling anti-semitism by some party members and supporters."

And he added: "Standing in solidarity when any community is attacked or oppressed goes to the very core of Labour values.

“Now is the time for the hundreds of thousands of decent Labour members to be true to these values by demonstrating our support and appreciation for our Jewish Labour colleagues and the whole Jewish community. “

Earlier this month, Mr Brown released his own video message saying he had joined JLM because Labour had "let the Jewish community down".

He said the party had allowed "legitimate criticism of the current Israeli government to act as a cover for the demonisation of the entire Jewish people".

EVIDENCE 'MISLAID, IGNORED'

At the weekend, a recording of Mr Corbyn emerged in which he acknowledged his own concerns that evidence of anti-semitism in the Labour party had been "mislaid, ignored or not used".

The Labour leader had met MP Margaret Hodge to explain the appointment of former justice secretary Lord Falconer to review the party’s complaints process following an outcry.

He told her: "The point of him [Falconer] is that he will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them and the collation of the evidence before it is put before appropriate panels and things.

“Because I was concerned that evidence was either being mislaid, ignored or not used and that there had to be some better system."

A Labour spokesperson said: "This shows Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community."

PELOSI

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn held talks on Sunday with Democratic US House speaker Nancy Pelosi that included the issue of anti-semitism.

She tweeted: "Pleased to have had a candid discussion with Jeremy Corbyn today about the direction of Brexit, Northern Ireland, NATO, acting boldly on climate, protecting human rights, and the necessity of forcefully confronting anti-Semitism & Islamophobia."