Jeremy Corbyn has slammed Jewish commentator Jonathan Freedland for penning an article of “utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness” after the Guardian columnist said Labour had a problem with anti-Semitism under his leadership.
In a widely-watched Vice News documentary, the Labour leader is heard speaking about Freedland to Seamus Milne, Labour’s head of strategy and another former Guardian journalist.
During the filmed telephone call, Corbyn responds to Milne, saying of Freedland: “He’s not a good guy at all. He seems kind of obsessed with me.”
In the 18 March article, Freedland said of Corbyn: “Many Jews worry that his past instinct, when faced with potential allies whom he deemed sound on Palestine, was to overlook whatever nastiness they might have uttered about Jews, even when that extended to Holocaust denial or blood libel.”
Referring to those with hostile views of Jews, Freedland added: “The question for Labour now is whether any of this matters. To those at the top, maybe it doesn’t.”
Later in the documentary, Corbyn is asked about former London mayor Ken Livingstone’s suspension, for saying “Hitler was a Zionist, before he went mad”.
Pressed whether he understood the problem with what Livingstone said, Corbyn answered: “Of course I do, otherwise he wouldn’t have been suspended.” He added: “The problem was that Ken made inappropriate remarks and the decision was made to suspend him from party membership so they can be investigated. That’s where we’re at.”
You can watch the full documentary by VICE here: