Watch: Corbyn Apologises for ‘Hurt’ Caused by Labour Anti-Semitism

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses an audience at the People's History Museum and sets out the reasons why Labour is voting remain, in the referendum on June 21, 2016 in Manchester, England. In the final few days of the EU referendum Jeremy Corbyn, Kate …
Christopher Furlong/Getty

Jeremy Corbyn has publicly apologised for the “hurt” caused to Jewish people by endemic anti-Semitism in his far-left party.

In a carefully scripted video message, he also admitted Labour had been too slow in dealing with disciplinary cases. The apology came on the same day senior Jewish figures criticised Mr. Corbyn’s response to Labour’s problem, where he failed to apologise or admit his own role in the anti-Semitism crisis engulfing the party, calling it “meaningless”.

Labour has been publicly grappling with a row about the extent of anti-Semitism within the party for more than two years.

Recently, the focus has been on a new code of conduct the party has adopted on anti-Semitism, with critics concerned that it does not go as far as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s guidelines.

Deputy Tom Watson warned on Sunday the party could “disappear into a vortex of eternal shame” and be unfit to lead if it did not tackle the issue.

He called for Mr. Corbyn to adopt the full definition of anti-Semitism in his interview on Sunday, and also said internal inquiries into Jewish Labour MPs Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin should be dropped.

His pleas were not addressed in Mr. Corbyn’s public Twitter message.

Instead, the party leader said anyone who denies that anti-Semitism is “surfacing” in the party is “clearly actually wrong and contributing to the problem”.

“I’m sorry for the hurt that’s been caused to many Jewish people,” he said. “We have been too slow in processing disciplinary cases of, mostly online, anti-Semitic abuse by party members. We’re acting to speed this process up.”

Mr. Corbyn also stressed that people who hold anti-Semitic views “have no place in the Labour party” and said people who use “anti-Semitic poison” are not his supporters, nor do they speak for him or the party.

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