Labour activist Eddie Izzard calls for party to remove 'stain of anti-Semitism

Emmett Rice
April 4, 2018

Mr Garrand, who has funded Labour under three different leaders before Mr Corbyn took charge in 2015, claimed its leadership had in effect "supported and endorsed" acts of anti-semitism.

She said her presence on the leadership board had become a "distraction".

The comic and actor, who is a Labour centrist, also offered his support to Corbyn.

The party has a backlog of more than 70 cases of alleged antisemitism, although groups reporting such allegations claim the figure is far higher.

Independent councillor for Paulsgrove John Ferrett, who used to be the Labour group leader on Portsmouth City Council, branded Mr Love's comments "disgusting" and "clearly anti-semitic".

"These were unprecedented steps on our part and we hope you understand the seriousness of such a communal action".

He echoed deputy leader Tom Watson in highlighting the case of former London mayor Ken Livingstone - a long-time ally of the Labour leader who remains suspended over comments suggesting Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s. Any complaints of anti-Semitism are taken extremely seriously.

Eight out of ten Labour members think anti-semitism in the party is exaggerated and more than six out of ten think the leadership is handling the issue well, according to a YouGov poll for The Times. "We must unite our party around the platform of hope that Jeremy Corbyn has built so that we can kick out this bad Tory government and build a Britain for the many, not the few", he said.

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It said: 'There is no place for the views of some Labour members as outlined in the Sunday Times today.

However the Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger - who is a regular target for abuse - said she and her staff had gone to the police over the abuse they had suffered from left-wingers, including one email urging her to kill herself. "As one of the former leading political and financial supporters of the Labour party, of which I was a member for so many decades, I no longer feel any affinity with, or connection to, what it seems to have become", he said. "This is a disgrace: nobody should be vilified for opposing antisemitism".

"We must get past this, for the good of the people Labour seeks to represent. We firmly believe that this must happen urgently, and certainly before we can meet".

The demonstration transcended party politics, and rightly so; people from all religions, all ages, all political philosophies, stood in solidarity in sending a strong and simple message to Jeremy Corbyn; enough is enough. He also rejected an assertion, made by counter-demonstrators Monday, that the Jewish community-led rally was a bid to "smear" him personally, saying: "Of course it's not a smear".

Some in the party say Corbyn, a longtime critic of Israeli actions against the Palestinians, has allowed abuse to go unchecked. In 2012, Jeremy Corbyn is said to have expressed disappointment that the mural was to be removed by the authorities, now feigning ignorance as to the anti-Semitic theme.

His motion, he insisted, was about asking "for unity in the party and to stop the orchestrated attacks from within" and had "nothing to do with anti-Semitism".

He said he was "sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused", and vowed Labour would have "zero tolerance for anti-Semites".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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