Johnson: Labour antisemitism stance ‘one of most important recent u-turns’

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Johnson: Labour antisemitism stance ‘one of most important recent u-turns’

Prime Minister praises the leader of the opposition for a 'change of attitude' on fighting Jew-hate in the party, and wider society

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's online conference.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers his keynote speech during the party's online conference.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on antisemitism as “one of the most important changes of attitudes, or u-turns,  from the Labour Party I have seen in recent times.”

Speaking during Prime Ministers Question Time, the PM was responding to a request from the Labour leader to provide further reassurance to the Jewish community in the UK after a spate of antisemitic incidents.

Starmer had raised what he said was an “appalling rise” in incidents, making reference to the attack on Chingford Rabbi last weekend, along with the car-convoy in St Johns Wood.

Johnson responded by saying:” I share his horror at the outbreak of these antisemitic incidents.

“The government has conveyed that message loud and clear to those who are responsible for enforcing the law against hate crime of that kind.”

The PM praised the Community Security Trust before adding: “We will call this out at every stage and we will not let it take root. We will not let it grow and fester.”

The Tory leader than turned the focus towards the Labour leader’s attempt to transform his party’s reputation on antisemitism following on from previous leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “In welcoming his remarks, I think his is one of the most welcome changes in attitudes, or u-turns,  from the Labour Party I have seen in recent times.

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle then said: “I think in fairness this House is very united  – and will remain united, and of course we do support the CST.”

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