Jeremy Corbyn has highlighted the recent rise in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate crime as an illustration of “how far we have to go” as a society.

Mr Corbyn pitched Labour as “the party of equality” as he launched its race and faith manifesto at an event in Watford, accusing the Tories of “holding back” black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

The Labour leader’s specific mention of anti-Semitism comes after criticism of the party for its response to racism against Jewish people.

Last month, more than 100 Labour MPs signed an open letter calling on the party to expel Ken Livingstone from the party over controversial remarks on Adolf Hitler and Zionism.

In October, the Home Affairs Select Committee accused Mr Corbyn of failing to provide “consistent leadership” in tackling anti-Semitic abuse within Labour ranks.

Labour’s manifesto also specifically commits to try to “build a society and world free from all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

Mr Corbyn said: “Labour is the party of equality.

“We were built on the values of social justice, internationalism and human rights.

“Our values are rooted in the fundamental truth that whatever your background, wherever you are from, you should have the means and opportunity to fulfil your potential.

“People continue to be treated unfairly due to their ethnicity or faith. The recent rise in hate crimes, including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks, underscores how far we still have to go.

“Labour will repair the damage done by the Conservative Government, which has sown the seeds of division in our communities.

“Only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of black, Asian and minority ethnic people, who have been held back by the Conservatives. We will guarantee equality is at the heart of our programme for government.

“Labour will implement a comprehensive strategy for racial equality, one that effectively challenges the disadvantage many black, Asian and minority ethnic communities suffer.

“We will work every day for a fairer society, where every person is enabled to get on in life, regardless of race, faith or ethnicity, to build a Britain that works for the many, not the few.”

Labour’s manifesto also commits to extending the powers of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and reinstating public sector equality duties, with an aim of extending them to the private sector.