The head of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has been caught on tape admitting that evidence of Jew-hate in the party has been “mislaid or ignored.” Corbyn has been dogged by criticism about his handling of anti-Semitism claims since taking office in 2015.
The Labour leader made the comments during a private meeting in February with veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodges, an outspoken critic of Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism. The tape was obtained and published by The Sunday Times over the weekend.
In the meeting, Corbyn outlined his intention to appoint former Cabinet minister Lord Falconer to oversee and review the party’s complaints process.
“The point of him is that he will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them, and the collation of the evidence before it is put before appropriate panels and things,” Corbyn told Dame Margaret. “Because I was concerned that evidence was either being mislaid, ignored or not used and that there had to be some better system,” he added.
Following the leaking of the tape, Dame Margaret told BBC Radio that the revelation “reflects a complete breakdown of trust between people like me and the leader of the Labour party.” The MP added that she made the tape as an “insurance policy” against being “misrepresented.”
She also said she believed that Corbyn “was lying or he was being lied to.”
A Labour spokesperson rejected the argument and said the tape “shows Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.”
An explosive report in The Sunday Times revealed earlier this month that the Labour Party has failed to investigate hundreds of cases of anti-Semitism by party members, despite more than 850 recorded complaints. The newspaper detailed a disturbing pattern of “delays, inaction and interference from the leader’s office,” based on leaked emails from a hard drive and confidential party documents.
[Photo: Sophie Brown / Wikimedia Commons]