Jeremy Corbyn must publicly acknowledge he made a mistake in associating with extremists, a senior community leader and former Labour councillor has said.
The leadership frontrunner has been heavily criticised for speaking up for or sharing platforms with those who have expressed anti-Semitic or extremist sentiment.
Rabbi Pinter, a member of the London Jewish Forum who has been a party member for nearly four decades, told the Jewish News: “He needs to be big enough to say made a mistake in associating with these people. If you want to be a leader you have that capacity. I’m confident he will show the magnanamity to do that.” Failure to do so, he added, would create “a very difficult situation” with the community.
He also expressed concern about the “perception that some supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the hard left are prepared to tolerate” anti-Semitism. “I believe it is the responsibility of Labour’s next leader to ensure that anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia or hatred of any kind is eradicated and purged from the party. I am very concerned that the most fervent anti-racists in the party that I admire and am so fond of seem not to see anti-Semitism as the most vile form of racism.”
Corbyn, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall will find out this weekend who will succeed Ed Miliband as Labour leader.
While Rabbi Pinter claimed “alot of his policies like anti-austerity are views many in the community can support”, he expressed concerns that the party could become an “irrelevance” under Corbyn.