Jeremy Corbyn: Anti-Semitism 'will not be tolerated' after Chief Rabbi criticism

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
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Jeremy Corbyn has said anti-Semitism "will not be tolerated in any form whatsoever" under a Labour government after the Chief Rabbi made an unprecedented intervention in the election campaign to criticise the party.

Mr Corbyn insisted Labour had a "rapid and effective system” for dealing with complaints of anti-Semitism among its members, despite claims that scores of allegations have yet to be dealt with.

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Writing in the Times on Tuesday, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: "The way in which the [Labour] leadership has dealt with anti-Jewish racism is incompatible with the British values of which we are so proud - of dignity and respect for all people."

Speaking at the launch of Labour’s race and faith manifesto, Mr Corbyn said: "I have to say, I just want to make this very clear - anti-Semitism in any form is vile and wrong.

"It is an evil within our society, it is an evil that grew in Europe in the 1920s and onwards and ultimately led to the Holocaust.

"There is no place whatsoever for anti-Semitism in any shape or form or in any place whatsoever in modern Britain, and under a Labour government it will not be tolerated in any form whatsoever. I want to make that clear."

Mr Corbyn said Labour’s complaints procedure had been overhauled in response to the storm over anti-semitism in the party, and is “constantly under review to make sure it is rapid and it is effective”.

The Labour leader arrived around an hour late to the campaign event in Tottenham, but did take questions from journalists on Rabbi Mervis’ intervention.

He repeated that there is "no place whatsoever for anti-Semitism in our society, our country, or in my party,” and insisted that those found to have used anti-Semitic language were "brought to book and if necessary expelled from the party, or suspended or asked to be educated better about it".

Mr Corbyn added: "I've also introduced an education system within the party.

"I want to live in a country where people respect each other's faith. I want to live in a country where people feel secure to be Jewish, to be Muslim, to be Hindu, to be Christian.

"I want to lead a Government that has an open door to all of the faith leaders.

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"So, I invite the Chief Rabbi, I invite the Archbishop of Canterbury, I invite all the other faith leaders to come talk to us about what their concerns are.

"But be absolutely clear of this assurance from me - no community will be at risk because of their identity, their faith, their ethnicity or their language."