Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

 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.