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Jeremy Corbyn warned Jewish group split would be ‘nail in coffin’ | Politics News

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Jeremy Corbyn has been warned a 99-year-old group for Jewish Labour members could disaffiliate, something which would be a “nail in the coffin” for the party.

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is considering splitting following the departure of its chair, Luciana Berger, to become an independent MP.

Members were emailed just after midnight on Tuesday inviting them to an emergency meeting next month to “decide collectively where we go from here”.

MARCH 26: Protesters hold placards as they demonstrate in Parliament Square against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party on March 26, 2018 in London, England.
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A group of MPs splintered over the handling antisemitism

Sky News understands the JLM could begin the process to sever its ties to the party it has been an official affiliate to for 99 years.

One source confirmed the option was a “possibility”, while another said “I imagine all options will be on the table”.

Ivor Caplin, the JLM’s national chair, stressed the choice to disaffiliate was not “imminent” and would only be done after a full ballot of members.

He added there would be a “full process to go through” and the upcoming meeting was purely “consultative”.

Only selected groups are chosen by Labour as affiliated with the national party, such as BAME Labour, Disability Labour, LGBT Labour and Labour Students.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks during the 'Jewish Labour Movement Conference' on September 2, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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Gordon Brown gave a major speech to the JLM last year

The JLM, which last year hosted a major speech by former prime minister Gordon Brown intervening on the subject of antisemitism, is due to celebrate its centenary as an affiliate next year.

But its future has been thrown into doubt by a group of Labour MPs quitting the party over claims of “institutional antisemitism”.

The email by JLM national secretary Peter Mason said Ms Berger’s decision was the “culmination of the same dilemma that each of us has been forced to contended with for a very long time”.

Luciana Berger was the first to announce her resignation
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Luciana Berger is one of the seven MPs to leave Labour

He added: “Tonight, as members discuss in private and share on social media their own responses to this very same dilemma, setting out their reasons for staying, or their reasons to leave, it is only right that we come together as a Movement to decide collectively where we go from here.”

Two concurrent emergency meetings will be held on 6 March in London and Manchester for members to hear from Jewish MPs to “discuss how we move forward collectively as a movement”.

Wes Streeting, a Labour MP and vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Jews, told Sky News the decision to disaffiliate was up to the JLM – but would be dire for the party.

“The Jewish Labour Movement is one of Labour’s oldest affiliates – predating even some of our most well-known trades unions,” he said.

“They helped found and build the Labour Party.

“If Jewish members disaffiliate, and it is ultimately their choice, it would be a nail in the coffin for the Labour Party itself.

Wes Streeting MP talks at the Progress annual conference, Central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 16, 2015. See PA story  . Photo credit should read: Laura Lean/PA Wire
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Wes Streeting said the move would be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for Labour

“My message to the leadership is clear and simple: enough of the platitudes, kick the racists out.”

Sky News has contacted the Labour Party for comment.

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