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Antisemitism row: Momentum drops Peter Willsman from NEC re-election list

Antisemitism row: Momentum drops Peter Willsman from NEC re-election list”

Jeremy Corbyn is facing pressure to act after a member of the Labour Party's ruling body was recorded making "disgusting" comments about Jews.

Mr Corbyn made his speech a few months after chairing a House of Commons event where Israel was compared to the Nazis, for which the Labour leader this week offered an apology.

Peter Willsman called some members of the Jewish community "Trump fanatics" and suggested they were "making up" problems about anti-Semitism in the party.

And some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump.

Ann Black, a member of Labour's National Executive Committee and a supporter of Mr Corbyn, urged him to follow the advice of shadow cabinet colleagues and adopt the working definition on anti-Semitism.

A Labour spokesperson said: We don't comment on individual cases.

Momentum should really be demanding he resign his NEC seat and no longer have a say at Labour's top table.

Mr Willsman added that he would be "referring" himself to "receive equalities training" so he could "better understand how to approach discussions of such issues in a respectful way".

The campaign's chairman, Gideon Falter, said: "Jeremy Corbyn has spent his political career sharing stages with anti-Semites and honouring them".

Mr Willsman, who sits on the NEC, said: "I deeply apologise for any offence caused to those present and those to whom my remarks were reported".

Since Corbyn assumed leadership of the party in 2015, a series of controversies relating to his seemingly one-sided pro-Palestinian rhetoric and repeated failure to stamp out burgeoning anti-Semitism within his party has led to a tumultuous relationship with British Jewry.

Willsman, who is standing for re-election to the National Executive Committee, said: "I recognise the offensive nature of my comments and that, in diminishing the experiences of those who face anti-Semitism in our party and society, I showed a lack of the sensitivity required for discussions around racism".

In the clip acquired by the Jewish Chronicle, Mr Willsman can be heard saying with a raised voice: "Some of these people in the Jewish community support Trump, they are Trump fanatics and all the rest of it".

The president of one of the U.K.'s main Jewish groups called Thursday on the leader of the Labour Party to make an "abject apology" to British Jews for allowing anti-Semitism to fester in the left-of-center opposition party.

Labour's guidelines repeat the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition but has rewritten the wording of some of the examples of anti-Semitism it lists.

Labour insisted that, while they were not reproduced word for word, they are covered in the new code.

Following the row the party's MPs will vote in September on whether to adopt the full IHRA wording after passing an emergency motion last week.

The Chakrabarti report - which had already been published by the time of Mr Willsman's reported comments at the NEC - was condemned as a "whitewash" by critics.

Speaking on Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4, Dame Margaret said she had chosen to confront Mr Corbyn in anger at what she said was the party's "arrogance" over its new code of conduct on anti-Semitism.

And while the government struggles to keep its plan for Brexit on the road, Labour appears to be stuck in a cul-de-sac of blame and recrimination on how it's tackling anti-Semitism.



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