John McDonnell admits anti-Semitism ‘had its effect in Barnet’ as furious defeated Labour candidates demand Corbyn tackle perception the party is ‘hostile’ to Jews
- McDonnell admitted the anti-Semitism row hit Labour’s push to claim Barnet
- Labour had hoped to win the north London borough for the first time ever
- Instead Labour went backward on Thursday, handing seats to the Conservatives
John McDonnell admitted today the anti-Semitism scandal engulfing Labour hit the party’s hopes of seizing Barnet Council for the first time ever.
Labour went into Thursday’s elections needing to gain a single seat for control of the north London council – but instead lost seats to the Tories.
Mr McDonnell accepted allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at Labour members and the appearance of a failure to act by Jeremy Corbyn ‘had its effect’.
But he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr action was being taken to stamp out the problem.
John McDonnell (pictured on the Marr show today) admitted today the anti-Semitism scandal engulfing Labour hit the party’s hopes of seizing Barnet Council for the first time ever
Mr McDonnell’s intervention came as defeated Labour candidate Adam Langleben resumed his fierce attack on Mr Corbyn for failing to deal with the problem.
The shadow chancellor told Marr he would be meeting Barnet councillors this week, adding: ‘Anti-Semitism certainly had its effect, there’s no doubt about it, in Barnet itself.
‘I’m hoping that the measures we have put in place now, the Chakrabarti Report implemented in full, Jennie Formby the new general secretary – Jeremy Corbyn said to Jennie ”your first priority is tackling this issue”.’
He said when senior Labour figures meet the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council again in July they would be able to demonstrate ‘really positive progress’.
Mr Langleben said the issue ‘has not been addressed at all’ and said Barnet was lost because the ‘Jewish community came out to deny Labour a victory’.
Defeated Labour candidate Adam Langleben (pictured on Sky News today) resumed his fierce attack on Mr Corbyn for failing to deal with the problem
He told Sky News ‘too many’ Jews see the Labour Party as ‘hostile, racist’ right now.
And he claimed one life-long Labour voter had told on the doorstep she could not back the party at Thursday’s polls – in a ward lost by a single vote.
He said: ‘Barnet was Labour’s No 1 target in the country and we lost it because people think we are racist.’
Mr Langleben said he felt there was an ‘element of the party’ that is racist, imported from the hard-left by supporters of Mr Corbyn.
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