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Jewish papers combine to attack "stain and shame of anti-Semitism" in Labour
30 July 2018, 12:41 | Tara Lloyd
Richard Leonard is an ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
A Labour Party spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are fully committed to the support, defence and celebration of the Jewish community and its organisations". The claim came during a heated debate about the hatred for Jews that is now defining party.
Britain's Labour Party suspended a councillor for sharing a post saying that it is a Jewish ritual to drink blood.
Ian Austin, the son of adoptive Jewish parents who lost relatives in the Holocaust, is facing possible disciplinary action after clashing with the party's chairman.
"Did I scream abuse at anybody?"
He told Channel 4 News: "I'm suggesting they would feel compelled, in large numbers, to a least consider moving, if not moving".
Protesters hold placards as they demonstrate in Parliament Square against anti-Semitism
"If it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, it is unlikely to succeed and is a shameless piece of cynical opportunism".
The allegation against Mr Austin is nearly identical to the threat of similar action against veteran MP Margaret Hodge, who has admitted calling Mr Corbyn a "racist" and 'anti-Semitic'.
She was furious over Labour's decision to adopt a new definition of anti-Semitism, which allows activists to compare Israel to Nazi Germany.
It followed the unprecedented step of three of the UK's leading Jewish newspapers publishing a joint front page message warning a Corbyn-led government would pose an "existential threat to Jewish life in this country".
- Why is Labour's new code of conduct on anti-Semitism so controversial?
"I am angry about anti-Semitism and I am angry that the Labour party can't deal with it adequately".
Although Labour's new code of conduct, which has been approved by the party's ruling body, endorses the IHRA's working definition, it also omits four examples from the IHRA list.
Corbyn says that his party won't accept any racist or similarly bigoted behavior from any of its members.
Labour's code of conduct states explicitly that "anti-Semitism is racism", and goes on to say that "it is unacceptable in our party and in wider society".
Mr Ashworth told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I think that, in good faith, members of this committee who've drawn up the party's code of conduct thought that they were strengthening that code of conduct, but that hasn't commanded the confidence or the agreement of the Jewish community".
Labour's code explicitly endorses the IHRA's working definition of anti-Semitism and includes a list of behaviours likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic copied word-for-word from the global organisation's own document.
But, a party spokesman added the NEC had "agreed to re-open the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups, in order to better reflect their views".
Scottish Labour has received a formal complaint about one of its councillors after she became embroiled in a row over anti-Semitism.
Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Liz Kendall and Anna Turley are among those who have been critical.
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Ms Lennon, Scottish Labour's communities, social security and equalities spokeswoman, said she had a "lengthy and constructive" meeting with representatives of the Jewish community after which she felt certain the party should accept the IHRA's definition.
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