Jeremy Corbyn has spoken emotionally of his mother’s role in an anti-fascist street fight as hundreds of people marched through the streets of east London to mark its 80th anniversary.
The Labour leader told how he had learned all about the 1936 Battle of Cable Street from Naomi Corbyn, who had been present when left-wing demonstrators fought police guarding a planned march by British fascists through a heavily Jewish neighbourhood.
Mr Corbyn shared a platform with Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack and Communist Party of Britain chairwoman Liz Payne to commemorate the bloody confrontation.
The Labour leader told a crowd of several hundred in St George’s Gardens, just off Cable Street in London’s East End, the fight had “a deep personal significance”.
He said: “One woman stood there along with many others and she told me all about it.
“That woman was my mother. She stood here with so many others because she wanted to live in a world, as we all do, that is free from xenophobia and free from hate.
“Those that stood here in 1936 did an enormous service.”
Earlier Sarah Sackman, from the Jewish Labour Movement, told the crowd that racism and anti-Semitism should always be challenged, “wherever we find it, including in our own ranks”.
— JewishLabourMovement (@JewishLabour) October 9, 2016
Trade unionists, Jewish and Muslim figures and members of other left-wing groups had marched to remember the battle and protest against the rising number of racist and anti-Semitic offences in the city.
Tens of thousands of anti-fascist protesters clashed with police in Cable Street on Sunday October 4, 1936.
They were campaigning against a march by members of the British Union of Fascists, led by Oswald Mosley.