Jeremy Corbyn has denied accusations of antisemitism levelled against the controversial Derby MP Chris Williamson, saying “he’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner”.
In an interview with Derbyshire Live, the Labour leader said: “Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP.
“He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not antisemitic in any way.”
Mr Corbyn was in Derbyshire yesterday to “discuss concerns over cuts to bus services with residents in Kirk Hallam”, according to Derbyshire Live.
Chris Williamson has been accused of whitewashing prejudice by Jewish leaders after he signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in Parliament.
The Derby MP was labelled a “Jew-baiter” by the Jewish Labour Movement after he shared a petition supporting the antisemite Gilad Atzmon.
Atzmon has in the past said that “Jewish ideology is driving our planet into catastrophe” and refused to say “whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act.”
Earlier this week, Williamson also drew backlash for suggesting on BBC’s Politics Live show that Venezuelans are not “genuinely starving”.
The Derby MP said: “What we are potentially on the precipice of here is a bloody civil war in Venezuela, aided and abetted by the United States and aided and abetted by the UK government and seemingly EU countries.
“What are they going to say when hundreds of thousands of people are genuinely starving?”