Corbyn to face Labour MPs over claims party is ‘institutionally racist’
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Corbyn to face Labour MPs over claims party is ‘institutionally racist’

Party leader to be probed by his own MPs after former frontbencher Chuka Umunna made the "painful" accusation

Chuka Umunna
Chuka Umunna

Jeremy Corbyn will face Labour MPs at Westminster after a former frontbencher branded the party “institutionally racist” over its handling of the anti-Semitism row.

The Labour leader has vowed to tackle the “social cancer” of anti-Semitism and acknowledged that Britain’s Jews had faced a “difficult time”.

The row over Labour’s response to the issue and the divisions among the party’s MPs over Mr Corbyn’s leadership have simmered over the summer.

Monday night’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party provides a chance for MPs and peers on both sides of the divide to air their grievances.

Former frontbencher Chuka Umunna made the “painful” claim that Labour was institutionally racist.

He vowed to stay on as a Labour member because he felt it was better to “try and argue and see change through in an organisation” rather than “leave the field”.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Part of the reason that I joined the Labour party, my party, my family started supporting the party was because it was an anti-racist party and I think the failure to deal with the racism that is anti-Semitism is particular and clearly is a problem.”

Mr Corbyn, in a Rosh Hashanah message, said: “I would like to reiterate that the Labour Party stands in solidarity with the Jewish community in the fight against anti-Semitism.

“We will work to eradicate the social cancer of anti-Semitism wherever is surfaces, including in our own party.

“We need change and I hope this year we can make this happen.

“Let us all re-commit to doing things differently, working together for community and social justice and changing not just ourselves but our society.”

Streatham MP Mr Umunna made his comments after being urged to apologise for saying Mr Corbyn should “call off the dogs” to stop centre-left MPs being driven out of the party.

Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery told Sky News that Mr Umunna’s call was “disrespectful” and “offensive”.

He said: “Calling anybody a dog is absolutely outrageous in the extreme, and Chuka Umunna of all people should know that.”

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