Jewish leaders react to Berger resignation: ‘Labour allowed racism to flourish’
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Jewish leaders react to Berger resignation: ‘Labour allowed racism to flourish’

Board of Deputies, JLC and Jewish Labour Movement express solidarity with Liverpool Wavertree MP

Luciana Berger
Luciana Berger

Jewish leaders have expressed solidarity with Luciana Berger after the Liverpool Wavertree MP resigned from Labour and suggested the party was “institutionally antisemitic”.

Berger, alongside Chuka Umunna, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith, today announced she would be jumping ship to form “The Independent Group.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “In the light of the horrific abuse aimed at Jewish MPs, we stand in solidarity with all those who have been targeted.

“Labour has failed to deal with antisemitism since the Jewish Community’s Enough is Enough demonstration called on the Labour leadership to act against this racism.

“This is a moment of great shame for the Labour Party and a tragedy for the thousands of Jews who have supported the party for generations.”

Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “Having been an active member of the party, one of the youngest members of parliament at the time of her election, a prominent shadow minister and an icon for many in the Jewish community and beyond, this is desperately sad to see.

“Luciana has stayed and fought for change from within the party as parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement.

“The Labour Party has disgracefully let her and others down while allowing racism against Jews to flourish.

“British Jews of all political persuasions have been let down, because of the antisemitic rhetoric that has entered our political spaces.

“There can be no greater indictment of a progressive party than the fact it is now tearing itself apart, because the leadership has failed to deal with anti-Jewish hatred.

“This is a failure of the Labour Party and blame must lie solely at the leadership’s door.

He added: “We are proud of Luciana and others for standing up for themselves and for what’s right.”

Jewish Labour Movement said: “It’s deeply regrettable that the leadership of the Labour party’s failure to tackle antisemitism has precipitated the resignation of our parliamentary chair, Luciana Berger MP and others.

“Countless Jewish Labour Party members have resigned in these last few years in protest at the abject failure of the party to address a growing culture of antisemitism, obfuscation and denial.

“It will be for our members to decide what they, and we, do next.”

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