An all-party committee of MPs has accused Jeremy Corbyn of turning the Labour party into a “safe space for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people” in a report released today.
The Home Affairs Select Committee criticises the party’s “demonstrable incompetence” at dealing with members accused of anti-Semitism and questioned the Labour leader’s understanding of the nature of the term.
The inquiry into anti-Semitism also slams Twitter bosses for not doing enough to identity and ban “hateful and abusive” users. It notes: “In the context of its £2.2 billion global revenue, it is deplorable that Twitter continues to act as an inert host for vast swathes of anti-Semitic hate”.
Reporting that Jewish MPs have been subject to “appalling” levels of abuse from people claiming to be Corbyn supporters, the report says the problem has been worsened by the 67 year old socialist’s lack of leadership.
MPs conclude:‘Mr Corbyn’s lack of consistent leadership on this issue has created a “safe space” for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people, exacerbated by the party’s incompetence at dealing with members accused of anti-Semitism.’
The report is scathing towards an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the party which was carried out by Shami Chakrabarti earlier this year, describing it as “ultimately compromised”.
Judging Ms Chakrabarti’s conclusions to have been “clearly lacking”, MPs say the report is “completely undermined” by the former Liberty director’s decision afterward to join the Labour party and accept a peerage from Mr Corbyn.
Of Corbyn, the report asserts: “We believe that his lack of consistent leadership on this issue and his reluctance to separate anti-Semitism from other forms of racism has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people.”
MPs acknowledge that the Labour leader “has a proud record of campaigning against many types of racism”, but say they are unconvinced Mr Corbyn “fully appreciates the distinct nature of post-Second World War anti-Semitism”.
The committee urges the government to implement a ‘new zero-tolerance of anti-Semitism’ and consider outlawing the persistent use of the word ‘Zionist’ as a term of abuse.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna said the report’s conclusions were not motivated by a desire for political point-scoring but to “rid our country of [anti-Semitism] wherever it appears”. In a statement issued today Mr Umunna, who sat on the committee, explained: “People’s right to freedom from hatred and prejudice is bigger than any one individual or party in my view”.