Luciana Berger: ‘I did everything within my power to change things in Labour’
search

Luciana Berger: ‘I did everything within my power to change things in Labour’

In the run up to the General Election, the Lib Dem's candidate for Finchley and Golders Green says she 'couldn't change things from within' and had to quit Corbyn's party

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger (right) and former Tory and Independent Group for Change MP Heidi Allen, speak to the media during a visit to Falafel Feast, in Finchley, North London. (Photo credit: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire)
Former Labour MP Luciana Berger (right) and former Tory and Independent Group for Change MP Heidi Allen, speak to the media during a visit to Falafel Feast, in Finchley, North London. (Photo credit: Luciana Guerra/PA Wire)

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger has said she had to leave her old party as she “couldn’t change things from within” when faced with instances of antisemitism.

Ms Berger is currently standing for the Liberal Democrats in Finchley and Golders Green, north London, after leaving the Labour Party earlier this year.

On Tuesday, she toured the constituency with former Tory and Independent Group for Change MP Heidi Allen and accused Jeremy Corbyn of being involved in a “litany” of incidents which have served to heighten fear within the Jewish community.

Addressing her departure from Labour, Ms Berger told the PA news agency: “I did everything within my power to try and change things.

“I had meetings, I put forward motions, I spoke out in the press when some very ugly things surfaced.

“Not only did it not get any better, but it got worse and there has to come a moment when you say enough really is enough.

“I couldn’t change things from within and sadly, as I said then and I feel very strongly today, the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic.”

The 38-year-old added there was a “sea of cases” of antisemitism within the party which the leadership “chose to brush under the carpet”.

She said she “absolutely” agreed with remarks made by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who said in a piece for The Times that the “overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety” ahead of the December 12 election.

Ms Berger added that members of the Jewish community she met while canvassing shared the anxiety.

Referring to Mr Corbyn, she said: “It’s just a litany of examples.

“One thing might be a mistake, but you can’t collect such a catalogue of experiences that heighten any minority community’s fear and to try and explain it away like the party has done.

“I share that anxiety because this is an issue that goes to the very, very top of the Labour Party.”

Ms Berger added: “I couldn’t in good faith, whenever a General Election was going to come, knock on doors and say vote for me and get Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister,” she said.

Ms Allen and Ms Berger, both formerly part of the Independent Group for Change, declined to answer questions about their former centrist party as Ms Berger said she was focusing on her own campaign.

read more:
comments