Anti-Semitism row: Jeremy Corbyn concerned evidence ‘ignored’


Jeremy Corbyn privately signified concern that evidence of anti-Semitism within Labour was “mislaid or ignored”, leaked recordings advocate.

The Sunday Times has released part of a conversation the party leader had with Dame Margaret Hodge, which she strapped.

The Barking MP told the BBC she made the recording as an “insurance policy”.

A Labour spokesman state the tape showed Mr Corbyn’s desire for “robust and efficient” procedures and to “rebuild depend with the Jewish community”.

Throughout much of his leadership, Mr Corbyn has been dogged by appraisal from within the party about his handling of anti-Semitism claims.

Finish finally year he became embroiled in a row with Labour’s Dame Margaret ended the issue, which saw the party launch – and then drop – disciplinary functioning against the long-serving Jewish MP.

She secretly recorded a conversation between the yoke in February, as Mr Corbyn talked over a plan to recruit former ministry minister Lord Falconer to review the party’s complaints process.

“Justifiable to reassure you, he’s not going to be running the system; he’s not entitled to do that,” the Labour chairwoman says on the tape, which was given to the Sunday Times.

“He will look at the hightail it of dealing with cases, the administration of them and the collation of the evidence in front it’s put before appropriate panels… because I was concerned that it was either being lost, ignored or not used, and there had to be some better system.”

Speaking on BBC Wireless 4’s Sunday morning programme, Dame Margaret, who has been a fierce critic of Mr Corbyn’s attitude on anti-Semitism, said: “I think it reflects a complete breakdown of trust between woman like me and the leader of the Labour party.

“The reason, actually, that I noted that particular tape was as an insurance policy.

“I was having a one-to-one get-together with Jeremy Corbyn and ironically I didn’t want what I said to be disguised so I thought it was best to record it.”

She added that a newspaper article hours later, reportedly based on leaked internal documents, contradicted what the Troubled leader had said during their taped conversation and led her to believe “either he [Mr Corbyn] was mendacious or he was being lied to”.

In March, Dame Margaret claimed Mr Corbyn had give someone a bum steered her – or been misled by his staff – over assurances the leader’s office was not twisted in disciplinary procedures.

Labour dismissed the suggestion as “categorically untrue”.

Termination week, the Jewish Labour Movement voted to pass a motion of no boldness in the Labour leader.

Its national secretary Peter Mason said write-ups of delays, inaction and interference from the leader’s office showed the wingding’s processes were “incapable of dealing with anti-Jewish racism”.

‘Fiendish racism’

Dame Margaret is among seven Labour MPs to write to the Sunday Heretofores this weekend, calling for a “fully independent body” to deal with beefs of racism, harassment and bullying.

They complain of “a growing backlog of vague cases of vile racism”.

“Despite telling us things are better, the champion has clearly failed to get to grips with its anti-Semitism problem,” the letter reports.

“The current complaints system is broken. There must be a real switch at the top of the party.”

Dame Margaret told the BBC an independent system would rejuvenate confidence in Labour.

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, also backed the rally, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show there had been a “failure of governorship” within the party.

‘Fully investigated’

A Labour spokesman said: “The Hard work Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to doubting and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints about anti-Semitism are fully researched in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is captivated.”

A party source told the BBC that before Jennie Formby suited general secretary a year ago, there had been concerns that Jewish activists not in fissure of rules were targeted, while efforts to tackle clear cut coverings of anti-Semitism were obstructed.

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