New Corbyn apology fails to curb antisemitism row

Corbyn Antisemitism Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for the hurt caused to Jews by anti-Semitism in Labour following stark warnings about the risk the row posed to the future of the party.

In a stark message, Mr Watson said Labour had to take a "long, hard look at ourselves" and demanded immediate action to end tensions, including fully adopting an global definition of anti-Semitism which the party's ruling body has so far resisted.

The stance has been backed by Mr Corbyn, who has also vowed to root out anti-semites from Labour ranks.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Perkins said Mr Watson was right "on all counts" and described #resignwatson as a "virtual cesspool".

In a sideswipe at Mr Corbyn, the former MP said: "Power reveals".

On Sunday, Corbyn also posted a video on Twitter seeking to fix ties with British Jews, and acknowledged that antisemitism has surfaced within the Labour Party in recent years.

On social networking site Twitter last night, many people called for Mr Watson to resign - with #resignwatson the top trending topic in the United Kingdom at one point. We have been too slow in processing disciplinary cases of, mostly, online anti-Semitic abuse by party members. "We said it would be an act of tremendous bad faith".

Supporters of Corbyn alleged Watson's comments, which he made in an interview with the Observer, came after a dispute with the leader's office over a speaking slot at the Labour Party conference.

He argued, however, that the number of Labour Party members who have been involved in antisemitic incidents over the last three years was "less than 0.1%" of the overall party membership.

Labour's deputy leader responded to the criticism by saying he "never, ever" thought he would face demands to quit "for standing up for people who are facing prejudice and hate". "You are not our supporters".

He added: "Aside from what the ongoing anti-Semitism row says about our party, it's unforgivably amateurish that we are allowing our problems to dominate the agenda when the Government should be under the cosh for Brexit, NHS, Universal Credit etc".

He also called for an immediate end to disciplinary action against his colleagues Ian Austin and Dame Margaret Hodge, who both lost relatives in the Holocaust.

"To do it once is a mistake, twice perhaps careless, but multiple times? Deliberate. It seems to me that Jeremy Corbyn is a serial offender".

The Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies have accused the Labour leader of "ideological hostility" to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism and its 11 examples.

The party was slammed for its decision to omit certain Israel-related clauses of the definition, such as likening contemporary Israeli policy to Nazi policy or accusing Jews of "being more loyal to Israel".

Walthamstow's Stella Creasy: "If you are calling for Tom Watson to resign because he's upset you wanting to tackle racism within the Labour Party so that it doesn't stop us winning an election or living our values as Labour, you've spent too long in the midday sunshine".

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