NATIONAL: Labour vows to settle '˜vast majority' of anti-semitism cases by July
LABOUR has issued a pledged to settle the '˜vast majority' of outstanding cases of alleged anti-semitism in the party within months, it has been reported.
The development comes after Jewish leaders accused Jeremy Corbyn of failing to turn words into actions in tackling anti-semitism in the Labour party.
The leader had met with Jonathan Arkush, president of Board of Deputies of British Jews (BDBJ) and the chair of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), Jonathan Goldstein, in Westminster on Tuesday.
Among the proposals put forward by the community leaders was a fixed timetable for dealing with outstanding cases of anti-semitism and expediting long-standing cases.
According to the BBC, the party has pledged to settle most of the cases by July.
Following the meeting Mr Corbyn said the talks had been ‘positive and constructive’.
However Mr Arkush rejected the suggestion the meeting had been constructive, telling BBC’s Newsnight: ‘Positive yes, but if you measure constructiveness by the actions to go with the words then I don’t think that’s what I would call it.’
Mr Arkush said the meeting was ‘friendly’ in tone however, saying Mr Corbyn was ‘extremely engaging’ and ‘interested’.
‘But there were no actions to go with the words, yet again, and that’s why we thought the meeting has been a real missed opportunity and a great disappointment,’ he added.
Locally, an organiser for Portsmouth’s branch of pro-Corbyn group Momentum resigned last week after becoming embroiled in claims of anti-semitism online.
The shamed left-wing activist, Ian Love, came under fire amid reports he called former Labour leader Tony Blair ‘Jewish to the core’ on Facebook, claiming the ex-prime minister was ‘protected’ by the Rothschild family, who he said ‘control all the money in the world’.
But after his comments appeared in a Sunday Times probe into so-called anti-semitic strains of Labour supporters online, Mr Love told The News: ‘It was not about anti-semitism, it was about capitalism – my words were twisted.’
Another city Labour-backer – prospective councillor Claire Udy – recently apologised ‘profusely’ after inflammatory comments she made on her personal Twitter account in 2013, which were flagged up to be allegedly anti-semitic by political figures in Portsmouth.
Collectively, claims of anti-semitism in his party locally and nationally have sparked a reaction from Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan – who last week met members of the city’s Jewish community in a bid to ‘tackle’ the discrimination.