The Board of Deputies and a Jewish MP have condemned a Brexit campaign group for saying Labour’s anti-Semitism problem is due to the party’s reliance Muslim voters.
The tweet by pro-Brexit organisation Leave.EU has been branded “offensive” by a cross-party group of MPs. The All Party Parliamentary Group for British Muslims has called on Leave.EU to withdraw the “inflammatory” post and apologise, as did the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The controversial tweet said: “Is it any wonder that Labour can’t be bothered to deal with the disgusting antisemitism in their party when they are so reliant on the votes of Britain’s exploding Muslim population? It’s a question of maths for these people, not justice!”
The Board of Deputies said it was “completely unacceptable from LeaveEUOfficial – please delete and apologise now. Some of the best allies we have in the struggle against antisemitism are Muslims, SadiqKhan, TellMamaUK and more. This is not the way to challenge antisemitism.”
Recently elected Leeds MP Alex Sobel, who is Jewish, tweeted: “As a Jewish Parliamentarian I ask you to apologise for this horrendous Islamophobic comment”, while other MPs such as David Lammy, said he wanted to report it to the police.
Arron Banks, founder of the Leave EU campaign, then took to Twitter in response to the Board’s criticism, saying: “the fact is your voice counts less with Labour, time you spoke up for the Jewish people…”
Tory MP and co-chairman of the APPG for British Muslims, Anna Soubry, said: “This tweet is thoroughly distasteful and offensive. It is also nothing to do with leaving the EU.
“It is however proof that Leave.EU is a front organisation for a far-right group that is more interested in spreading hatred and creating division than upholding British values of respect and tolerance.”
Labour MP Wes Streeting, who is co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Jews, said: “Muslim and Jewish communities will be disgusted by this cynical and nasty attempt to stir up hatred and division.
“Muslims and Jews know what it is to experience prejudice based on their race and religion and will stand together against this type of ugly rhetoric.
“Leave.EU should withdraw this tweet and apologise immediately.”
This comes after Jeremy Corbyn pledged to deal with 70 outstanding cases involving claims of anti-Semitism within Labour ranks as soon as possible.