Chakrabarti accused of being ‘dismissive’ of anti-Semitism concerns

Chakrabarti accused of being ‘dismissive’ of anti-Semitism concerns

Labour peer and Jeremy Corbyn ally says the party's anti-Semitism scandal wasn't what prevented them from getting into government

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Shami Chakrabarti speaking on BBCQT
Shami Chakrabarti speaking on BBCQT

Labour peer and ally of Jeremy Corbyn, Shami Chakrabarti, has been accused of being ‘dismissive’ on the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, during a BBC Question Time panel debate.

The shadow attorney general was probed over her party’s record on anti-Semitism by a Jewish member of the Question Time audience, Sharon Garfinkel, on Friday night.

Garfinkel asked Chakrabarti: “Do you think if there had been less anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, from people like Corbyn and people like you Baroness Chakrabarti, Corbyn would be in power, in government?”

The Labour peer, speaking the day after her party surpassed expectation in the General Election with more than 260 seats, responded: “I’ve said everything that I have to say about that.”

“There have been problems of racism and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and in Britain in other parties as well. But, I don’t think I can attribute the election result to those issues. You might but I don’t.”

After her initial question, Garfinkel responded by saying that within the community “there were a lot of conflicted people, Jewish people, who were unsure ” when it came to considering voting for the party, due to allegations of anti-Semitism.

Chakrabarti added: “I’m sad to hear that but I think we’re able to move forward together now. I’ve made some recommendations about how people might to treat each other and I feel there is an appetite for taking those forward.”

Speaking to Jewish News after the show Sharon criticised Chakrabarti’s remarks, saying: “For someone who was responsible for writing the report on anti-Semitism within the Labour party, she should not have been so dismissive of me when I asked a basic and reasonable question, on  an issue which many members of our community have thought about and grappled with.”

read more: