Labour MP John Mann slammed Gerald Kaufman as a disgrace to parliament, the party and to his position as Father of the House, writes Jack Mendel at Limmud.
Speaking at Limmud on Monday during a session on anti-Semitism, the MP for Bassetlaw said he had complained about comments made by Gerald Kaufman about ‘Jewish money’, which were condemned by leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Responding to a question about Government policy towards Israel, Kaufman, who as the oldest MP is the Father of the House, said “It is Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party” influencing that policy.
Citing a letter from “a friend” in East Jerusalem, Kaufman spent several minutes making the point that Israeli authorities were “fabricating” stories of stabbings.
Mann said he had made formal complaint about Kaufman who “should have retired some years ago.”
“My formal complaint is still outstanding and to be answered. I don’t accept a non-answer. I’m hoping it succeeds but I’m not confident he’s got the message.”
Mann, who is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism concluded by saying Kaufman was “a disgrace to parliament, a disgrace to the Labour Party and it’s a disgrace he is called the Father of the House.
He also revealed he has arranged a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn, during which he’ll address the issue of anti-Semitism. He said Jeremy Corbyn had consistently said he “wants to combat” the issue. “I’ll be pointing out some ways in which he can do it, and hopefully he’ll agree.”
The MP also spoke at length about anti-Semitism in the UK, identifying what he claims are the “three forms of anti-Semitism: Traditional anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism of the left and anti-Semitism from the Muslim community.”
He said there was a bigger danger of understating, rather than overstating the danger of anti-Semitism, saying in particular that in Europe, “the acceptability is fighting to me.. especially in this millennium.”