Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

New Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London.

Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to meet former Northern Ireland Secretary Ivan Lewis to discuss anti-Semitism on the left.

It comes amid concerns over anti-Semitic sentiment expressed by some backing the new Labour chief during the leadership campaign.


Lewis – whose offer to remain in the shadow cabinet during the current crisis at Stormont was declined by the Islington North MP – said: “The meeting is about anti-Semitism on the left, which has been recognised by Owen Jones as a big issue, and Jeremy’s support in the past for people who have used anti-Semitic rhetoric.

“Contrary to false press reports Ivan has never accused Jeremy of being anti-Semitic but he stands by his concerns about Jeremy’s support for such people.” 

Ivan Lewis MP

Ivan Lewis MP

Lewis also received receiving anti-Semitic messages following news on his departure from the shadow cabinet.

Last month, Lewis wrote on social media that “at the very least he has shown very poor judgment in expressing support for and failing to speak out against people who have engaged not in legitimate criticism of Israeli Governments but in anti-Semitic rhetoric”.

The Bury South MP added: “It saddens me to have to say to some on the left of British politics that anti-racism means zero tolerance of anti Semitism, no ifs, and no buts. I have said the same about Islamaphobia and other forms of racism to a minority of my constituents who make unacceptable statements.”

Lewis – who during the leadership campaign also said Corbyn “advocates solutions which belong in the past” – hailed the “solidarity and support from so many great Labour people” last weekend.