One of British Jewry’s top leaders has spoken of “positive movement” by Labour on tackling anti-Semitism, following the “disappointing” meeting between the community and Jeremy Corbyn.
Writing for Labour List, Board of Deputies CEO Gillian Merron reflected on each of the six areas which the Board and Jewish Leadership Council highlighted ahead of the meeting on Tuesday, as being significant in tackling discrimination against Jews in the party.
Merron welcomed news that Jeremy Corbyn distanced himself from Len McCluskey’s remarks made on Wednesday, in which the Union boss criticised MPs for “smearing” the Labour leader with the anti-Semitism row.
She wrote that she “hoped that this clear stance continues” when it comes to taking personal responsibility.
Reflecting on the Jeremy Corbyn’s position on disciplinary cases, Merron said “it is good that the leadership has now set a target of our next meeting in late July to clear the backlog of cases” of suspended members.
Merron added, that it was welcome to see suspended member Jackie Walker, no longer due to speak at an event with MP Chris Williamson, calling it a “welcome sign that the leadership will no longer tolerate the culture of denial and disbelief that is facilitating much of the anti-Semitism Jews are experiencing from some Labour members.“
On Friday, activist Marc Wadsworth was expelled from the party over his verbal attack on Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti report, which was also welcomed by the Board as a “step in the right direction”.
This comes in the week that the Board and JLC spoke of a “disappointing missed opportunity” during a meeting with the Labour leader on Tuesday.
While the two community organisations welcomed Corbyn’s involvement in the two-hour talks, they said that he had failed to agree to any of the concrete actions which they had previously asked for in their March 28 letter to him.