EXCL Gordon Brown calls on Jeremy Corbyn to launch fresh Labour anti-Semitism probe

Posted On: 
6th June 2018

Gordon Brown has called on Jeremy Corbyn to show "determination" and launch a new inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was speaking at an event in central London last night
Credit: 
PA

Speaking at an event in London last night, the former Prime Minister urged the Labour leader to take further action over the problem, warning that it could not be allowed “to fester”.

Mr Brown said the party must do more to protect Jewish members from abuse, saying it had a duty to support them against a new wave of anti-Semitism that was spreading across Europe.  

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He said: “There’s going to have to be a new inquiry and we are going to have to get all the facts and we are going to have to deal with those people that are causing the problem.

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn understands this, I hope that he does but it’s important. You cannot allow a problem like this to continue to fester…

“This is something that we thought had been dealt with, it was something in the past. It is not.

“So, the Labour party has got its own duty, when a problem is pointed out you have go to deal with it."

He added: “We have got to take further action as the Labour party and it’s got to be done now and it has got to be done with determination.”

Labour has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism over the past few years, culminating with a protest in Parliament Square by leading Jewish groups urging Mr Corbyn to do more to tackle the problem.

Ahead of a meeting with representatives from Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council Mr Corbyn expressed his commitment to addressing their concerns.  

In an article for the Evening Standard he wrote: “Anti-semitism is a poison that must be challenged wherever it raises its head, across Europe and at home.

“Hatred and bigotry towards Jewish people has no place in our society, whether on the streets or online. And that of course goes for the Labour Party too…

“Let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.”

Mr Corbyn has since instructed Labour’s new General Secretary Jennie Formby to make tackling anti-Semitism her top priority and the party has drafted in a team of lawyers to work through outstanding cases more quickly.

Last month, former London mayor Ken Livingstone dramatically quit Labour following a two-year probe into controversial remarks he made claiming Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism.

Reacting to Mr Livingstone's resignation, Mr Corbyn said it was "sad after such a long and vital contribution to London and progressive politics", but that resigning was "the right thing to do".