Jeremy Corbyn has revealed he may have distant Jewish roots in his family.
The new Labour leader told the Church Times on 18 September, that although his immediate family had a Christian background, he has a ‘Jewish element’ in his background.
He said “there is a Jewish element in the family, probably from Germany,” despite saying his mother “was a Bible-reading atheist”.. “brought up in a religious environment, and her brother was a vicar”.
He added, “my father was a Christian, and attended church; and the school that I went to was religious — we had hymns and prayers every morning.”
Speaking more generally about faith, he said in the interview: “I’m not anti-religious at all. I probably go to more religious services than most people who are very strong believers.
“I go to churches, I go to mosques, I go to temples, I go to synagogues. I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting.”
“I think the faith community offers and does a great deal for people.”
Jeremy Corbyn caused concern in the Jewish community during the leadership campaign, over connections with extremists and anti-Semites.
Following his election however, both the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies said they were ready to meet him.
Corbyn appointed a Jewish MP, Luciana Berger, to his shadow cabinet, and has also agreed to meet former Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis MP to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism on the left.