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Jeremy Corbyn to face confidence vote from Jewish Labour Movement | Politics News



The Jewish Labour Movement is going to hold a vote of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, amid claims that the party has failed to deal with hundreds of complaints about antisemitism.

Peter Mason, the movement’s national secretary, told Sky News that Jewish members of the party are “looking on in horror” at what has been happening in the Labour Party in recent years.

The group is holding its AGM on Sunday afternoon and is to table a confidence motion in the leadership of Mr Corbyn.

Mr Mason said he would be voting no confidence – and would even consider voting to dissociate from the party should such a motion be tabled.

Peter Mason said he would be voting no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn
Peter Mason said he would be voting no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn

It comes amid an ongoing battle with antisemitism in the left-wing party, as The Sunday Times reports there are 249 cases which have been reported to the party and not been acted on.

Labour responded by saying the figures leaked to the newspaper were not accurate, and said all complaints were taken seriously.

Mr Mason said: “This statement is the same they have put out after every incident of antisemitism last year, it’s worthless.

“Members voted just a few weeks ago to remain affiliated with the party, because we believed we should stand and fight.

“We will be asking difficult questions of the leadership.

“[Mr Corbyn] is the one responsible for leading the party and ensuring it acts in an appropriate way – members will be voting on whether he should be leader and should be prime minister.”

Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn: No space for racism

Mr Mason said Jewish members were wrestling with the fact that their core identities both of being Jewish and being Labour members were being challenged.

He added: “It wasn’t that long ago our parliamentary chair Luciana Berger resigned from the Labour Party citing antisemitism.

“Not that long ago we had a conversation about the party trying to redefine antisemitism.

“The Jewish community is looking on in horror. We have had this affiliation for 99 years and it looks like it could come to an end.”

The Labour Party have been accused of failing to get a grip on the problem
Jennie Formby with the Labour leader

Mr Mason criticised the party for doing “nothing” in the last year, despite the Jewish members meeting with general secretary Jennie Formby and Mr Corbyn to set out what the actions to tackle antisemitism should look like.

He said: “Rather than actions we have had consistent obfuscation and denial. We have hundreds of instances they have failed to investigate or completely misjudged, and made boneheaded decisions not to take action.

“Frankly too many instances involve people who occupy positions that means those in the leader’s office are happy to pass over antisemitism because of their political connections.

“The rank and file of the Labour Party are aghast and shocked. They want this to change but the majority are not in control, and the people in control want to deny.

“Nothing will shift until that shifts.”

Speaking to Sophy Ridge On Sunday, shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti refuted the allegations in The Sunday Times and said emails were being purposefully taken out of context to make the opposite of what was being said seem true.

She said: “I don’t believe you can tackle racism in any party or society if you make it a party political or internal factional matter. It’s too import to internally factionalise.

“It’s much easier to tackle [the tropes] when we don’t make it a personal attack about Jeremy Corbyn, or a Conservative attack on Labour.

“We need the same approach to the Conservative Party, not to say ‘the Tories have a problem’, we have to come together as democratic people in the context of the rise of the far-right and democratic people need to come together to tackle it.”

She gave a plea to the Jewish Labour members not to personalise the attacks, and to stay in the movement to tackle racism together.

Responding to The Sunday Times report, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said: “This makes for deeply shocking and depressing reading. Labour members and the Jewish community will not understand how, many years on from the first concerns about antisemitism being raised, we have not to grips with it. I give them my word I will continue to do everything in my power to rid our party of this scourge.”

A Labour spokesman said: “These figures are not accurate.

“The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to rooting it out of our Party. All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures. We can’t comment on individual cases.

“Lines have been selectively leaked from emails to misrepresent their overall contents. One of the emails shows the general secretary’s office ending the practice started by former staffers of asking the leaders’ office for their help with clearing the backlog of cases. This practice lasted for a few weeks while there was no general secretary, and was ended by Jennie Formby.”

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