Labour shadow minister calls for ‘education programme’ to combat anti-Semitism

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Labour shadow minister calls for ‘education programme’ to combat anti-Semitism

Rebecca Long-Bailey defends the Labour leader's stance on anti-Semitism but insists the party must do more to deal with the problem

Rebecca Long-Bailey 

Photo credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Rebecca Long-Bailey Photo credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

A leading shadow cabinet member has called for Labour to roll out a “political education programme” to combat anti-Semitism in the party.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey defended Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on anti-Semitism but insisted the party needs to do more to deal with the problem.

Ms Long-Bailey said that demonstrations outside Parliament by Jewish groups protesting against Mr Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism within the party had been “devastating”.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It was devastating for every single Labour MP to realise that the Jewish community had lost faith in our approach to anti-Semitism going forward. But … we do take a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, but has that been enforced as effectively as it should have been?

“I think there is a lot more that needs to be done and I think Jeremy addressed that clearly yesterday. He has always been a militant opponent of anti-Semitism.

“But too often, I think, the issue has been dismissed as a few bad apples when we needed to take very serious root-and-branch action to root out the cause of the problem.

“There will be clear efforts now to roll out a political education programme specifically to make sure that every single person in the Labour Party is aware of all forms of anti-Semitism.

“And even down to branch level within constituencies it can be enforced by the relevant officers to make sure that nobody suffers in the way that they have done.”

Labour peer Lord Levy told the BBC he was no longer sure he had a place in the party because of the handling of anti-Semitism by the leadership.

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