Labour rows and Brexit vote contributed to record anti-Semitism incidents, report suggests
Rows in Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism and a rise in racist attacks after the vote for Brexit may have fuelled a rise in the number of hate incidents against Jews, a charity has suggested.
According to anti-Semitism monitor The Community Services Trust there were 1,309 incidents last year, the highest number since records began in 1984.
Meanwhile May saw the highest tally for a single month with 135 incidents – some of which mentioned the Labour party - the charity added in its Anti-Semitic Incidents report.
“One possible explanation for this might be that, at the end of April, anti-Semitism became a national political and media story in the UK, following the suspension by the Labour Party of Naz Shah MP and Ken Livingstone for alleged anti-Semitism,” the report noted.
It also said an increase in racism following the vote for Brexit in June may have pushed up the overall rise – with 125 incidents recorded in July compared with 87 for the same month the year before.
Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said: “The findings of this report are extremely distressing. It’s vital that we continue to highlight the abuse Jewish people are experiencing.”
Home Secretary Amber Rudd branded anti-Semitism a “deplorable form of hatred”.
She added: "It is vital we ensure the safety and security of our Jewish community and this government will continue to do all we can to stamp out these vile attacks and encourage those who experience them to come forward."
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Anti-Semitism must be understood for what it is - an attack on the identity of people who live, contribute and are valued in our society.”
2014 saw the previous record in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, at 1,182, due to the Israeli military operation in Gaza, the charity said.
Meanwhile, Theresa May will meet with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in London on Monday, according to reports.