Corbyn, Shadow Cabinet and Labour MPs urge JLM to remain
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Corbyn, Shadow Cabinet and Labour MPs urge JLM to remain

The 2,000 strong group is to discuss formally severing ties with the party at two conferences in London and Manchester this evening

Gordon Brown speaking at JLM's One Day Conference, where he sounded a warning against antisemitism
Gordon Brown speaking at JLM's One Day Conference, where he sounded a warning against antisemitism

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) is to discuss a possible split from Labour over antisemitism this evening, amidst appeals from Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Cabinet and over 100 MPs for the affiliate to remain.

The 2,000 strong group is to discuss formally severing ties with Labour at two conferences in London and Manchester this evening.  

In a letter to the JLM yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn acknowledged the “scourge” of antisemitism “does exist within our party” and “the enormous distress caused to the Jewish community”.

But he also renewed his invitation to the group to meet and discuss solutions and “offer some reassurance about some of the misleading stories currently being reported about our complaints system.”

The Shadow Cabinet issued a statement to the JLM yesterday evening to extend an invitation to meet and discuss antisemitism in Labour and urging the group to “stay and to work with us in the struggle against hatred.”

“We are committed to the fight against antisemitism, and recognise
the distress felt by Jewish Labour members”, the statement read.

“We believe in strong sanctions in the Labour Party including expulsion where complaints are upheld.”

In a separate appeal, over 100 Labour MPs have signed an open letter, organised by MP Stella Creasy, urging the JLM to remain affiliated to Labour and apologising for “letting our Jewish supporters and members down”.

From the Shadow Cabinet, only Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson and Barry Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, signed the letter. 

JLM’s parliamentary chair Luciana Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree, who recently defected to the Independent Group of MPs, will not attend the meetings as she has delivered her baby yesterday. 

She produced a video telling JLM members: “I feel I’ve done everything that I’ve done I possibly can to contend with this issue from within.

“I’ve spoken up. I’ve written a number of different articles about it. I’ve spoken publicly within the parliamentary Labour party. I have put forward motions.

“Despite those best efforts, all the evidence that we’ve seen of events that have actually happened show how the Labour Party has actually gone backwards.

“It’s institutionally antisemitic and I stand by that claim.”

The Jewish News reported in 2016 that Corbyn backed a motion in 1984 to disaffiliate from Poale Zion, the precursor to the Jewish Labour Movement and British branch of Israel’s Labor Zionist movement.

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