Jeremy Corbyn re-elected as Labour leader
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Jeremy Corbyn re-elected as Labour leader

The Labour leader has strengthened his position at the helm of the party winning 61.8 percent of the vote

Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his second Labour leadership victory
Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his second Labour leadership victory

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Labour to “wipe the slate clean” after he was re-elected as party leader following a bitter campaign which saw him defeat challenger Owen Smith.

Mr Corbyn said the both he and Mr Smith were part of the “same Labour family” in an appeal for unity after winning 61.8% of the vote.

He thanked voters in the contest for their “trust and support” after receiving 313,309 of the votes cast, compared with 193,229 for Mr Smith.

Corbyn also referring to the “passionate and often partisan” contest, acknowledging  that “things are sometimes said in the heat of the debate on all sides which we sometimes later come to regret”.

The re-elected leader called on Labour MPs to unite behind his leadership and help build support for “a genuine alternative”, adding that he had a responsibility as leader to unite the party at conference, in Parliament and across the country.

He urged all Labour supporters to join him in taking part in a national day of action next Saturday against Mrs May’s plans to expand selection in education and open new grammar schools.

Jeremy Corbyn has been dogged by claims of inaction on the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour party.

The Labour leader commissioned a report by Shami Chakrabarti which put forward a raft of proposals to tackle the issue in the party. However, the report was widely branded as a ‘whitewash’, after the lawyer and former director of Liberty was given a peerage.

Following the announcement Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “Nobody could pretend the last year has been easy in terms of relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community.

“It is imperative that lessons are learned and, in particular that we see a decidedly firmer and more proactive approach to tackling antisemitism.

“For our part, we will continue to pursue a robust and constructive dialogue on this and all other communal interests and concerns.”

Zionist Federation chairman Paul Charney added: “The victory of Jeremy Corbyn does not mean that British Jews and other supporters of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East no longer have friends in Labour. But it does mean that those friends now represent, to borrow a recent phrase, an increasingly ‘squeezed middle,’ caught between an unsympathetic leadership, and an often actively hostile grassroots.

“British Jews have a wide variety of political views, with many being traditionally supportive of the social justice of the left. But there are two issues that they are overwhelmingly united on. The first is the continued existence of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. The second is the safety of their community in this country. The rise of contemporary left-wing Antisemitism, masquerading as “Anti-Zionism,” suggests that neither concern will find much favour with many in the current Labour party.”

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism reacted to his victory by saying: “The evidence shows that Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly promoted the lie that Jewish accusations of antisemitism are dishonest and motivated by hidden agendas. Though notable Labour members have struggled bravely to stem the tide, the Labour Party is no longer a safe place for British Jews.”

“We require the Party to adopt and firmly and transparently apply the international definition of antisemitism to the many outstanding cases amongst its members, including the disciplinary complaint that we have now instigated against Jeremy Corbyn. Though we are an apolitical organisation, we are today speaking out to say that the Labour Party now does more to normalise racism than to oppose it.”

 

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