John McDonnell holds ‘positive’ talks with defeated Jewish Labour councillor

John McDonnell holds ‘positive’ talks with defeated Jewish Labour councillor

Shadow chancellor pledged to "call out" anti-Semitism in Labour during hour-long meeting with ex-Barnet politician Adam Langleben

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Adam Langelben
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Adam Langelben

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has agreed to visit Barnet with Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of local election losses following the anti-Semitism row in Labour, according to an ex-councillor.

Mr McDonnell held talks with two councillors who lost their seats in the London borough on Thursday to discuss the impact anti-Jewish sentiment in the party had on the results.

Adam Langleben, who had represented West Hendon, said the hour-long talks had been “positive” because Mr McDonnell had shown he understood the issue.

“He agreed that our young activists who knocked on doors deserve an apology and he agreed that he would call out fake news websites,” he told the Press Association.

This comes after Langleben criticised the party, for ‘uninviting’ him and others to a meeting on anti-Semitism this week.

He took to Twitter to say: “Just before the election I was invited with others from Jewish Labour to attend the Labour NEC [National Executive Committee] Working Group on Antisemitism meeting today at 4.

“I have just been uninvited along with others. Apparently a ‘misunderstanding’.”

After arriving at Southside to try and attend the meeting despite the withdrawn invite, he posted again, saying: “To my great disappointment the Labour NEC Working Group on Antisemitism have been meeting for one hour now. We, Jewish Labour [Movement], have been waiting patiently for an hour. We will not be allowed in. They are discussing antisemitism without the only Jewish affiliate.”

Following the local election results this week, Shadow chancellor John McDonnell acknowledged on Sunday that the party’s row over anti-Semitism had hit Labour’s local election hopes.

The issue was blamed for the party’s failure to secure the key target of Barnet, an area of London with a large Jewish population.

Mr Langleben said he expected the shadow chancellor to return with the Labour leader to visit the area “soon”.

“He agreed that he and Jeremy should make a visit to Barnet and he understood the abuse that our canvassers have received,” he said.

The ex-councillor said Mr McDonnell had pledged to “call out” anti-Semitism in the party.

“He showed he understood conspiratorial anti-Semitism, especially from the left,” he added.

Mr McDonnell’s aides said they did not discuss private meetings.

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