I will root antisemites out of Labour – they do not speak for me
Yes, there is a continuing problem. But the party will do whatever it takes to safeguard the Jewish community
I have spent my life campaigning for recognition of the strength of a multicultural society. Britain would not be Britain without our Jewish communities. Our country would be unimaginable without the immense contribution made by Jewish men and women to every part of our national life, from art to science, industry to politics, in peace and in war.
Jewish people have also been at the heart of the labour movement throughout our history. So no one can, or should, try to dismiss or belittle the concerns expressed by so many Jewish people and organisations about what has been happening in the party I am proud to lead.
I do not for one moment accept that a Labour government would represent any kind of threat, let alone an “existential threat”, to Jewish life in Britain, as three Jewish newspapers recently claimed. That is the kind of overheated rhetoric that can surface during emotional political debates. But I do acknowledge there is a real problem that Labour is working to overcome. And I accept that, if any part of our national community feels threatened, anxious or vulnerable, not only must that be taken at face value but we must all ensure those fears are put to rest.
That is why I want to make it absolutely clear that any government I lead will take whatever measures are necessary to guarantee the security of Jewish communities, Jewish schools, Jewish places of worship, Jewish social care, Jewish culture and Jewish life as a whole in this country.
I want to go further. I want Jewish people to feel at home in the Labour party and be able to play their full part in our work to take our country forward. And I appreciate that this cannot happen while antisemitic attitudes still surface within Labour, and while trust between our party and the community is at such a low ebb.