Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she was “frustrated” that action to implement Baroness Chakrabarti’s recommendation on tackling anti-Semitism in Labour had not been fully acted on.
“Jeremy (Corbyn) has been quite clear there’s no place for anti-Semitism in our party but I have been a little frustrated that we haven’t moved forward on the Chakrabarti report as fast as I would have liked to have seen,” she said.
“But Jennie Formby our new general secretary made it her number one priority and we need to make sure that the full Chakrabarti report is implemented and we have absolute zero tolerance.”
She told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “It can’t be right when people see on social media – and it’s not just in the Labour Party but across the board – anti-Semitic rhetoric and they see no action taken or the action is far too slow.”
Mrs Rayner defended colleague Thangam Debbonaire who was heckled at a meeting of her constituency party in Bristol for attending an anti-Semitism demonstration.
She told the Andrew Marr Show: “Thangam is an absolute credit to the Labour Party.”
She added: “She shouldn’t be hounded out of any meeting, we have debates in the Labour Party, that’s quite fine, but she’s absolutely right to be able to protest and Jeremy has made that clear as well.”
Former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett said: “I don’t think anybody really now disputes that there are problems within the Labour Party – of course I would dispute hotly that they are worse than anywhere else or than other political parties – but that doesn’t alter the fact that we have this problem and we must deal with it.”
She told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend that Labour’s “vastly increased membership” meant “you have got a few that are causing problems that we didn’t have before”.
Dame Margaret said some on the left who were guilty of anti-Semitism claimed that they were being “persecuted” for their political beliefs.
She added: “There is no doubt that there are people who are guilty of anti-Semitic actions and words and so on who are pretending that it is only because they are really just good little left-wingers.
“I think that’s disgraceful and it brings them – but unfortunately other people around them – into disrepute and it’s incredibly unfair. They are hiding behind people who are just honourable people on the left.”
Derby North MP Chris Williamson told the programme: “We know that anti-Semitism does exist on the left. I’ve got to say I’ve not come across it inside the Labour Party, I think it’s more on the outer fringes of left-wing organisations outside the Labour Party.”