Gordon Brown says Jeremy Corbyn is "simply wrong" on anti-semitism row

Gordon Brown has launched a stinging attack on Jeremy Corbyn's handling of the anti-semitism row engulfing Labour and warned the current party leader "has to change."
Gordon Brown at the Edinburgh Inernational Book Festival. Picture: Lisa FergusonGordon Brown at the Edinburgh Inernational Book Festival. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Gordon Brown at the Edinburgh Inernational Book Festival. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The ex-Prime Minister refused to be drawn on whether Corbyn is fit to be Prime Minister when quizzed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today. But he insisted the party's current rift with the Jewish community is "simply wrong" and called for an end to the "running sore."

The situation has escalated in recent days with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticising the Labour leader after it emerged he attended a wreath-laying ceremony for terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

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Brown said Labour must immediately adopt the international definition of anti-semitism and predicted this will happen in the coming days.

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But Brown said: "Even that will not be enough. You've got to show by your actions and not simply by statements and words that you understand the deep hurt that has been caused. So I'm very clear about that.

He added: "This cannot keep going on as a running sore and it's not because it is an embarrassment, it is because it is simply wrong. You cannot designate a community and be anti-semitic in your attitude towards them."

Mr Brown joined a host of party grandees, including, Dame Margaret Hodge, who have been calling for the party to adopt the internationally agreed definition of anti-Semitism in full

"Jeremy has got to change," the former Prime Minister added.

"He cannot sustain particularly what he is saying about the international agreement on what we do in our attitudes to the holocaust and to Israel.

"And if that's not changed - well I predict to you that will change within a few weeks. I'm one of many people that is pressing for this change.

"I predict that it will change."

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He added: "The persecution that has been suffered by the Jewish community must never be forgotten. It's something that has got to be remembered every time we see actions and discrimination and prejudice in different communities around the world."