Jewish MP Accuses Labour Leader of ‘Supporting and Defending’ Extremists, Anti-Semites

Protesters hold placards as they demonstrate in Parliament Square against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party on March 26, 2018 in London, England. The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council have drawn up a letter accusing Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn of failing to address anti-Semitism in …
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Jewish Labour MP Ian Austin has accused party leader Jeremy Corbyn of “supporting and defending” extremists and anti-Semites.

Mr Austin, the adopted son of Jewish Czech refugees who lost relatives in the Holocaust, told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend that he was “deeply ashamed” of Labour and accused Corbyn of bringing the party to an “extreme” form of politics.

Defending himself from accusations that his comments stemmed from his opposition to the far-leftist as party leader, the Mr Austin said: “What do people think? That I’m so worried about his [Corbyn’s] plans to nationalise the railways or something that I would invent all this stuff?

“It’s actually the other way around. It’s because he has spent his entire time in politics on the extreme fringes of the Labour Party, supporting and defending all sorts of extremists and in some cases frankly, anti-Semites.”

The Labour Party has been beset by scandals surrounding anti-Semitism in the party since the pro-Palestinian, socialist MP became the leader in 2015, bringing relations between the Jewish community and Labour to historic lows.

The MP for Dudley North has become the second Jewish Labour MP to be investigated for alleged “abusive conduct” by the Labour Party after disagreeing with party authorities over its adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism which critics say does not go far enough.

Labour authorities sent Mr Austin a letter on the 19th of July warning him that he was being investigated for “abusive conduct” — the day after a similar letter was set to Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge after she called Corbyn “an anti-Semite and a racist”.

Speaking to the Observer on Sunday, Mr Austin said: “Wouldn’t it be great if they dealt with the people responsible for racism as quickly as they dealt with the people who are understandably upset about it? I am angry about antisemitism and I am angry that the Labour party can’t deal with it adequately.”

A senior member of the British Jewish community also told the newspaper that the actions of Labour look like “a full-scale purge”.

Labour is currently investigating more than 250 complaints of anti-Semitic abuse after Dame Margaret was the subject of anti-Jewish abuse posted in several Facebook groups including posts calling the former Labour minister a “Zionist bitch” and “a zionist remedial cancer” in the pay of Israel.

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