Labour MP: Party No Longer ‘Safe Space for British Jews’ Under Corbyn’s Leadership
A Labour Party MP said her party is no longer safe for Jews after its leader failed to intervene when she was publicly accused of “colluding” with the right-wing press, the Independent reported Thursday.
MP Ruth Smeeth, who is Jewish, said she was “verbally attacked” by an activist linked to the left-wing organization Momentum — which supports Labour head Jeremy Corbyn — during the party’s conference revealing the results of its investigation into antisemitism allegations.
The inquiry — headed by the controversial Shami Chakrabarti — concluded that while there is an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” within the party, it is “not overrun by antisemitism, Islamophobia, or other forms of racism.”
In comments outlining the results of the investigation, Chakrabarti said any claims that the Jewish people were “part of some kind of media conspiracy…is just wrong.” The Momentum activist soon after hurled this same accusation at Smeeth, who left the conference “in tears,” the report said.
“It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms. Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing,” Smeeth said in a statement. “People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed.”
The Jewish Labour MP said that Corbyn’s inaction has led her to call into question his leadership abilities and willingness to deal with antisemitism and racism within the party.
“Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews,” Smeeth said. “I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.”
Corbyn stirred up controversy at the conference when he compared Israel to ISIS, stating, “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel, or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”
Israeli and British-Jewish leaders slammed Corbyn for his remarks, with some calling for his immediate resignation.
On Tuesday, the Labour Party passed a non-binding no-confidence motion in Corbyn in a 172-40 vote. Corbyn has refused calls to resign.