Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi discusses antisemitism with Corbyn and ex-Labour MPs

Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi discusses antisemitism with Corbyn and ex-Labour MPs

Senior opposition figure from the US meets with Labour leader's team during UK tour, while also meeting defectors Ian Austin and Mike Gapes

Nancy Pelosi meeting Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour politicians
Nancy Pelosi meeting Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour politicians

The Speaker of the House of Representatives in the US met with Jeremy Corbyn and former Labour MPs on the weekend to have ‘candid discussions’ including about antisemitism.

Nancy Pelosi met Labour leader Corbyn and ex-party members Ian Austin MP and Mike Gapes, who quit Labour in-part citing antisemitism concerns.

The senior Democrat politicians tweeting: “Pleased to have had a candid discussion with Jeremy Corbyn today about the direction of Brexit, Northern Ireland, Nato, acting boldly on climate, protecting human rights, and the necessity of forcefully confronting antisemitism & Islamophobia.”

She also met former Labour MPs to discuss antisemitism and other issues.

Ms Pelosi tweeted: “Important discussion with former Labour Party MPs @MikeGapes,@ChrisLeslieMP & @IanAustinMP to hear their perspective on Brexit, why they left the Labour Party, and the importance of standing unequivocally against antisemitism wherever it is found.”

This comes after a former Cabinet minister said Labour needs to do more to deal with accusations of antisemitism in its ranks.

Lord Falconer made the comments after the party became embroiled in fresh controversy over the issue.

The ex-lord chancellor, who has been asked by the party leadership to hold an investigation into antisemitism, told the BBC: “I think this is a very, very real threat to the party.

“How can you convince people that you are a serious, moral, decent party if you are antisemitic?

“How can you claim to be an alternative Government if you are antisemitic?

“We have to do something about it.”

The comments came after it was reported party leader Jeremy Corbyn had expressed concern that evidence of antisemitism in Labour has been “mislaid or ignored”.

The Labour leader made the comments during a secretly recorded meeting with MP Dame Margaret Hodge, the Sunday Times said.

A Labour spokesman said the party takes allegations of antisemitism seriously.

He said: “This shows Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.

“We don’t comment on staffing matters. Complaints are being handled in the usual way.

“The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Dame Margaret told the BBC: “The reason, actually, that I recorded that particular tape was as an insurance policy.

“I was having a one-to-one meeting with Jeremy Corbyn and, ironically, I didn’t want what I said to be misrepresented.

“So, I thought it was best to record it.”


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