Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attends left-wing Jewish group's event

Screen capture from video of UK Labour party National Executive Committee member Christine Shawcroft
Screen capture from video of UK Labour party National Executive Committee member Christine Shawcroft

04 April, 2018

And he suggested that Mr Corbyn - along with other members of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee - should attend a training course on tackling "unconscious bias".

The group, Jewdas, which describes itself as "radical voices for the alternative diaspora", has been highly critical of Israel and has supported the Palestinian cause.

It comes as Jeremy Corbyn was forced to delete his Facebook account amid concerns over links to anti-Semitic groups and after it emerged that he had defended an offensive mural in a 2012 post.

Political blog Guido Fawkes published a recording from the Seder where those in attendance were heard to be booing the names of leading Jewish figures such as Jonathan Arkush, chairman of the Board of Deputies responsible for arranging the protest against Corbyn in Parliament Square last week.

Galloway claims traditionally anti-Semitism is "primarily a right-wing phenomenon and up until a couple of weeks ago I would have told you, probably have told you that in 50 years in and around the Labour Party I never ever came across an anti-Semite".

Speaking on a campaign visit to Swindon, Mr Corbyn said: "I went to a very interesting and very enjoyable Seder supper and I spent a lot of time talking to young Jewish people about their life in Britain and experiences of anti-Semitism they have had and how they view the future of our country".

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said he attended an event to mark the ritual feast of Seder on Monday with Jewish people from his constituency. "Isn't that a good thing?"

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Mr Corbyn has come under sustained pressure over allegations of anti-Semitism within his party.

A spokesman for Corbyn admitted that the Labour UK leader had attended the Jewdas event, but said Corbyn had participated in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of his party. Whilst Angela Smith MP described it as a "blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling antisemitism".

He acknowledged that the problem had been treated "as simply a matter of a few bad apples", and that more should be done to investigate individuals.

Some critics believe Mr Corbyn's association with Jewdas is a sign that he is not committed to tackling anti-Semitism. In a statement on social media, Labour MP John Woodcock said meeting the group gave the message that "extreme views are OK".

Lord Martin, who served as Speaker from 2000 - 2009, said he would have attended the demonstration but was unable to because of ill health.

Ms Wolfson, who is Jewish, told the BBC's Today programme: "There is very clearly a real issue, a huge piece of work that needs to be done in the Labour Party, around modern anti-semitism and giving people the tools to recognise when legitimate criticism of Israel crosses the line into anti-semitism".

Just days later the official in charge of Labour's disputes panel, Christine Shawcroft, resigned over allegations she opposed the suspension of a candidate accused of Holocaust denial.

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