Mr Corbyn (pictured leaving his home this morning ) told the shadow cabinet that anyone who denies that there was a problem with anti-Jewish hate in the party ‘are part of the problem’
Jeremy Corbyn acknowledged Labour’s failings over anti-Semitism today as he unveiled plans designed to beef up the party’s ability to tackle racists in its ranks.
He told the shadow cabinet that anyone who denies that there was a problem with anti-Jewish hate in the party ‘are part of the problem’.
It came as Labour revealed there had been 625 complains of anti-Semitic behaviour against party members this year, which resulted in eight people being expelled.
But Mr Corbyn risked sparking anger among rebellious MPs over his preference for dealing with the issue.
The outlined two proposals to deal with anti-Semitism. One is to give the party’s National Executive Council anti-Semitism panels the power to expel members.
The second – which Mr Corbyn favours – is to create a new panel to speed up the most serious cases, headed up by general secretary Jennie Formby, with ‘the power to expel’.
She was one of a host of Corbyn associates accused in a BBC Panorama documentary of trying to exert pressure on the party’s disciplinary process.
The proposals will be discussed at a meeting of the NEC tomorrow.
Mr Corbyn told the shadow cabinet: ‘Labour is not an anti-Semitic party. But one anti-Semite is always one too many.
‘I also know that some complaints have taken too long to deal with. This is not good enough.
‘Our members don’t want to share their party with anyone who is racist – and they want to be able to demonstrate there is no place for anti-Semitism among them.
‘Some of the hate and bigotry displayed on social media would count as gross misconduct in any workplace, and must be treated similarly robustly in the Labour Party.’
Mr Corbyn will face MPs as he addresses a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party tonight.
Derby North MP Chris Williamson, who is currently suspended from the party, became embroiled in a row with leading Jeremy Corbyn critic Dame Margaret Hodge
Euan Philipps, spokesman for Labour Against Antisemitism, said: ‘That only eight Labour members have been expelled for antisemitism between January and June 2019, out of 625 cases, makes a mockery of the zero tolerance policy once promised by Jeremy Corbyn to the Jewish community.
Last week Labour MPs and Lords urged Mr Corbyn to implement a completely independent disciplinary process.
‘Instead he appears to have put in charge the very people responsible for the mess the party is in.’
The shadow cabinet backed the proposal for ‘summary exclusion’ outlined by the Labour leader, which he will put to the NEC.
In a statement issued by the shadow cabinet, the senior Labour figures said they also supported a proposal to introduce ‘independent oversight of our processes, and will continue to seek to engage with Jewish community organisations to build confidence’.
Meanwhile, a meeting of Labour peers drew back from moving a motion of no confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
But a source said there was ‘unanimous support’ for Baroness Hayter, who was sacked as a Brexit spokeswoman for comparing the ‘bunker mentality’ of Mr Corbyn’s inner circle to the ‘last days of Hitler’.
Over the weekend Labour’s main Jewish group wrote to every member of the shadow cabinet urging them to show ‘real resolve’ to end what it claims is institutional racism against Jews in the party.
The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) said the Opposition is ‘sorely in need of real leadership on anti-Semitism’, telling the front bench: ‘This is your chance to lead.’
Meanwhile anti-Semitism row MP Chris Williamson today became embroiled in an astonishing online spat with a Jewish Labour MP.
The Derby North MP, who is currently suspended from the party, became embroiled in a row with leading Jeremy Corbyn critic Dame Margaret Hodge.
Dame Margaret pointed out that he was ‘not a Labour MP’. He was suspended in February and again last month over a ‘pattern of behaviour’ that included saying Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism cases
It came after he took to the social media platform to promote an event tonight which he said would address the need to ‘deepen party democracy’ in order to make Mr Corbyn prime minister.
Dame Margaret replied that he was ‘not a Labour MP’. He was suspended in February and again last month over a ‘pattern of behaviour’ that included saying Labour had been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism cases.
He responded saying: ‘I may not currently be part of the PLP club, Margaret (which is only 0.04 per cent of the membership).
‘But I’ve been a Labour member since 1976, serving 20 years as a Labour councillor and almost seven years as a Labour MP.
‘I will always be loyal to – and part of – the labour movement!’
But this prompted the Labour MP for Barking, who has led criticism of Mr Corbyn – a close friend and ally of Mr Williamson – to reply: ‘Returning to reality: Labour MPs are elected by millions of voters, we are not a club.
‘You are not ”currently” a Labour MP because of your disturbing ”pattern of behaviour”.
‘I joined the Labour Party 57 years ago because you can never be ”too apologetic” about fighting racism.’
Labour has been rocked by a Panorama programme which claimed senior figures, including Mr Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne and general secretary Jennie Formby, interfered in anti-Semitism investigations.
The party has denied the claims and written a complaint to the BBC.
On Sunday the party published education materials to help its members and supporters understand anti-Semitism.
The party has provided members with ‘basic tools’ to identify and call out anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories in a bid to defeat the problem.
The materials, published on the party’s website, include guidance on how to avoid anti-Semitism when criticising the Israeli state, and explanations of terms such as Zionism.
Support collapses for Corbyn: 40% of Labour voters want him out as leader before the next election – and a quarter say he must go NOW
Two fifths of Labour members now want Jeremy Corbyn to stand down before the next election, a poll has found.
Confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership has plummeted by 24 points since March last year.
The YouGov survey for the Times found that 43 per cent of Labour members say he is doing a bad job.
Amid growing dissatisfaction with Mr Corbyn’s handling of Brexit and the continuing anti-Semitism crisis, one in four want him to step down immediately.
More than half are dissatisfied with the way in which the Labour leader, and 70 per cent say that antisemitism is a ‘genuine’ problem.
Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, has the most support to succeed him, with 68 per cent of members saying that he would make a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ leader.
He is followed by John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who has an approval rating of 64 per cent, and Emily Thornberry, the shadow chancellor, on 59 per cent.
Half the party membership believe Tom Watson, Mr Corbyn’s deputy, would make a ‘poor’ replacement.