Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of lying on national TV, after claiming “every single case” relating to Jew-hate had been dealt with – despite 130 instances remaining outstanding.
The Labour leader came in for criticism during Tuesday night’s televised leaders’ debate, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson branding his handling of the antisemitism row a “complete failure of leadership”.
Corbyn responded, saying antisemitism was “an absolute evil and scourge within our society” and insisted the party treated the issue “very, very seriously”.
“I have taken action in my party where anyone who has committed any antisemitic acts or made any antisemitic statements, they either suspended or expelled from the party and investigated every single case.”
The National Secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement, Peter Mason, tweeted out the clip of Corbyn making this claim, saying “this is a lie.
“There are at least 130 outstanding antisemitism cases, some dating back years, that still haven’t been dealt with. The Party haven’t bothered to investigate the cases properly or make decisions. This is the tip of the iceberg”
“The 130 cases are just those before the NCC [National Constitutional Committee]. We have submitted details to the EHRC [Equalities and Human Rights Commission] of thousands of cases left unresolved. Cases where grossly antisemitic behaviour was excused, and details of the worst political manipulation of a system by those running the Party”.
This is a lie
There are at least 130 outstanding antisemitism cases, some dating back years, that still haven’t been dealt with. The Party haven’t bothered to investigate the cases properly or make decisions. This is the tip of the iceberg /1#ITVLeadersDebate #LeadersDebate pic.twitter.com/4JsyOLlnHH
— Peter Mason (@_petermason) November 19, 2019
After Mason’s claim that Corbyn had “lied”, Labour’s Dawn Butler, who is Shadow Women & Equalities Secretary, responded on Sky News saying: “I don’t know where anybody will be getting that information from because it’s confidential.
“That is within the processes of the Labour Party. What I do know is that the Labour Party has a strong, robust system for dealing with issues of any form of racism and any form of complaints.
She added, that: “”If Jeremy Corbyn has been informed by the General Secretary that all the cases have been dealt with in some way – then absolutely he is right to say that is the case – because I’m sure that’s what he’s been informed.”
Mason then accused the Party of “hiding behind confidentiality”.
But a Labour source said: “The autonomous disciplinary body the NCC, [National Constitutional Committee] which until very recently was the only body with the power to expel members, has not been hearing cases quickly enough.
“That’s exactly why Jeremy brought forward fast-track expulsion processes to allow for rapid expulsions in extreme cases, so we don’t have to wait for the NCC.”
Labour is currently under investigation by the EHRC over claims of institutional antisemitism, which is expected to deliver its verdict as early as January – making it the second party to be probed by the watchdog after the British National Party.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Jeremy said that antisemitism is an evil and a scourge within our society, which we must stand up to. As Jeremy said, the party is imposing swift suspensions and expulsions and the Party investigates all complaints we receive.”
The Party in today’s morning media round haven’t contradicted me correcting the record on the failure to tackle anti-Jewish racism, because they know the Leader lied on national television. Instead we seem to be hiding behind confidentiality.pic.twitter.com/RAEfXf8nYm
— Peter Mason (@_petermason) November 20, 2019