Two-thirds of voters believe Labour has prejudice problem - new poll

Posted On: 
18th April 2018

Nearly two-thirds of voters believe that Labour has a problem with prejudice, according to a new poll commissioned amid a bitter row over anti-Semitism in the party.

Only Ukip fared worse in the public’s perception, the new poll found
Credit: 
PA

Sixty-one percent of people who took part in the study for The Independent said that they thought Labour had “a problem with racism and/or religious prejudice”.

Almost a fifth (19%) of the more than 1,500 people who took part in the survey said the party had a “considerable problem” with racism and prejudice, with 21% saying Labour had “somewhat” of a problem and another 21% saying it had a “small” problem.

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Only Ukip fared worse in the public’s perception, with more than two-thirds (67%) of people saying the right-wing party had a problem with racism or prejudice.

The report also makes for grim reading for  the Conservatives, with 55% of people saying the party had a problem, and 11% saying that problem was “considerable”. The Liberal Democrats were seen as the least prejudiced, according to the Independent.

The publication of the poll comes after Labour MPs last night lined up to demand action from Jeremy Corbyn on anti-Semitism, and recount the abuse they had received from some of the party’s apparent supporters.

The Labour Leader has been under fire after appearing to endorse an anti-Semitic mural, with Jewish groups and some of his own MPs taking part in a demonstration outside Parliament over the party’s stance on discrimination.

In a heated Commons debate on the issue last night, the party’s shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne admitted that Labour need to do “much more work” to tackle anti-Semitism and vowed: “No political party has the monopoly on vice or virtue but we will put our house in order.”

'UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE'

Meanwhile, the party has distanced itself from one of its own videos, after a former supporter of the hard-right British National Party appeared in a video backing Mr Corbyn.

Carl Walmsley appeared in a party political broadcast for Labour, saying Mr Corbyn "wants good things for this country, especially for my kind of people".

According to The Times, Mr Walmsley made a series of Facebook posts describing the Koran as "the devil’s book" and threatening to stab Muslims. He told the paper that he had since "matured as a person".

"Reading it back some of my wording was disgusting and I apologise dearly to all it has offended," he said.

A Labour spokesperson said: "The Labour Party does not of course endorse these comments. We were not aware of these utterly unacceptable social media comments and are reviewing our production processes."