A Labour MP faces criticism after he said that his colleagues are using “the Jewish issue, the antisemitic issue” as a “stick to beat Corbyn” with.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 at the weekend, Ronnie Campbell said: “The people in the Parliamentary Labour Party are using the Jewish issue, the antisemitic issue, as a big stick to beat Corbyn and get rid of him.
“It’s as simple as that as far as I can see.”
The MP for Blyth Valley in Northumberland also said it was “deplorable” Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge recorded a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn on antisemitism.
He added: “I know [Margaret Hodge and other MPs] had some shtick on their Facebook and whatnot and it shouldn’t be tolerated.
“The Parliamentary Labour Party put a no confidence vote in. When they didn’t get that, they started to say what issue can we get them on?
“Ah the Jewish issue. This is a good one. I feel sorry for the Jewish people…You’re being used by these people. Just to get rid of Corbyn that is.”
Ian Austin told Jewish News: “This is the latest example of Labour MPs not taking racism in the Labour party seriously.
“It’s no wonder they can’t solve the problem when they deny that the problem exists.
“It’s about time the Labour leadership, party and Corbyn all started taking this issue seriously. Enough is enough.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism also condemned the remarks, saying: “To claim that allegations of antisemitism are being invented or exaggerated for political gain is to accuse Jews of complicity in a political conspiracy.
“Additionally, Mr Campbell’s clumsy use of the term “Jewish issue” will evoke historic language about the “Jewish problem” or the “Jewish question” which was central to European antisemitism in the 19th and 20th centuries, including that of the Nazis.”
Ronnie Campbell has been contacted for comment.