I am deeply saddened and ashamed to think I may have constituents who fear they might not be welcome or indeed celebrated in the Labour Party because of their Jewish faith or heritage. The mural upon which Jeremy Corbyn commented six years ago was easily identifiable as being antisemitic and it had no place on our streets or indeed in any debate about art or freedom of speech.
Yesterday’s letter from the British Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council demonstrate clearly that Labour has a problem with antisemitism. It is one we have not done enough to address. Those who have raised it – such as Luciana Berger or Wes Streeting to name only two – have been attacked by some Party members or so-called supporters in a way which is entirely against Labour values.
The Party must go from speaking of a zero tolerance approach to proactively demonstrating zero tolerance, rooting out all antisemitism and becoming a movement which visibly leads on the elimination of antisemitism in the UK and across the world.
I welcome Jeremy’s letter yesterday, his statement that he “will never be anything other than a militant opponent of antisemitism” and look forward to being held to account, together with Jeremy and the rest of the Labour Party, on how the sentiments expressed in that letter are translated into action. If any constituent feels that he or she has been affected by the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party I urge them to contact me directly.