Corbyn 'sincerely sorry' for anti-Semitism 'in pockets of Labour'

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson

"The most important thing here is that the Labour Party keeps on saying that antisemitism has no place in our party, in our communities, or in our society, and we've got to have zero tolerance, and zero tolerance has got to be more than two words, it's got to dictate everything the Labour Party does in relation to antisemitism".

Corbyn said he would meet Jewish community representatives in the coming days to rebuild its confidence in his party.

Mr Corbyn said he made a "general comment about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech" but acknowledged he should have looked more closely at the controversial image before posting on Facebook at the time of the row in 2012. Our dedicated coverage of Labour's policies and personalities, internal debates, selections and elections relies on donations from our readers.

He said yesterday that he was sincerely sorry...

The British Jewish leaders' letter said: "When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist".

"We recognise that antisemitism has occurred in pockets within the Labour Party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour Party and the rest of the country".

In a damning letter to be handed to the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party this evening, Jewish leaders warn of an "institutional failure" to address their concerns.

In an open letter Board President Jonathan Arkush and Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein said Mr Corbyn was "ideologically fixed within a far left worldview" that is "instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities".

Former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper said Mr Corbyn should apologise for his own actions.

The Labour leader did not make any reference to the criticism aimed at him personally in his statement.

It followed the Labour leader's admission late last week that in 2012 he had defended a horrific mural in east London that depicted Jewish bankers playing monopoly on the backs of the poor.

Tom Watson on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

Senior Labour figures have defended Jeremy Corbyn amid a row over his apparent support for an anti-Semitic mural.

He continued: "He's accepted that he didn't look at it properly, it is anti-Semitic and it should be removed, he couldn't be clearer about it".

Mr McDonald said: "Be in no doubt whatsoever that Jeremy is absolutely and utterly focused on driving out anti-Semitism wherever it will appear and any other forms of discrimination, it's absolutely beyond doubt that's what the man is about".

Mr Watson, who is also shadow culture secretary, said it was a "horrible anti-Semitic mural that was rightly taken down".

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