Former British PM Tony Blair Slams Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for Failure to Deal With Antisemitism in Party
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair blasted current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday for failing to combat antisemitism within the party.
In a televised interview, Blair told Sky News that Corbyn had not been “robust” enough in his response to the party’s growing antisemitism crisis.
“Of course we should eradicate antisemitism from the Labour Party,” he said. “We are supposed to be a progressive political party, how can we say it’s tolerable to have a certain level of antisemitism in the party?”
Blair also referenced the no-confidence motion brought against Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger in response to her outspoken activism against antisemitism in the party.
“The fact that someone like Luciana Berger — who is a smart, capable, active member of Parliament doing her best for her constituents — the fact that she should even be subject to a no-confidence motion with this type of allegation swirling around is shameful for the Labour Party,” Blair said.
It was not the first time Blair criticized Corbyn over antisemitism. In September 2018, Blair told Euronews, “Antisemitism is one aspect of what is a deeper problem with the politics of Jeremy Corbyn and the people around him which is sort of a visceral anti-Western position.”
“If you look at where they make their attacks, where they don’t make their attacks: they will attack people who support the West and they will basically defend people who are anti-West,” he added. “In a way, their attitudes to Israel got kind of caught up in that bigger and broader argument.”
“This has been a truly shameful episode for the Labour Party and it’s causing real difficulties for those of us who stay in the Labour Party and want to see it come back to sense; to see a situation in which the Jewish community in this country feel really alienated and worried and anxious and that’s a terrible thing to have done,” Blair said of the situation within the party.
“There is an element to this leadership in respect to this antisemitism question which I think is very difficult to reconcile with the proper principles of the Labour Party,” he added.
The Labour party has been wracked by antisemitism scandals since Corbyn won control of the leadership, several of them implicating Corbyn himself. Polls indicate that over 80 percent of Britain’s Jews consider him an antisemite.
Watch video of Blair’s remarks on Sunday below:
The Labour Party has “not been robust enough” on antisemitism.
Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair tells #Ridge the Party’s leadership needs to have zero-tolerance on antisemitism.
— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) February 10, 2019