Jeremy Corbyn insisted he has stood “side by side” with the Jewish community in fighting anti-Semitism.
His comments came in an address to the Runneymede Trust ahead of the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
He stressed that Labour could be proud of its contribution to the struggle for justice and human rights.
“Theresa May will tell you she wants a society that works for everyone,” he said. “But friends, I and many others in the Labour party haven’t just talked the talk, we have walked the walk.
“I have stood side by side with your communities: to campaign against Apartheid South Africa, against increasing Islamophobia in this country, against Racism and against anti-Semitism.” He stressed his party was “implacably opposed” to anti-Semitism and was taking forward the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report.
He also accused the government of allowing migrants who keep the NHS going to be demonised, adding that it was not refugees from Syria that crashed the economy,
He pointed out that black people with degrees earn less than their white peers and that women of Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin are less than half as likely to be employed as women from other groups.
While Britain has come a long way, he said : “We have a long way to go. Black and Asian people are still more likely to be excluded, stopped, searched, arrested, charged and get longer sentences. Still less likely to go to university, get to the boardroom, the Houses of Commons.״
He added: ״People are right to be anxious. These are volatile times and people feel insecure in their work, about their children’s future, about this country’s future, they look for someone to blame.”
״What we need is leadership that does not stoop to preying on those anxieties and blaming people who look differently, talk a different language or dress differently, for the mess that we’re in.״