Lord Parry Mitchell, a prominent member of the British Labour Party and former Labour member of the House of Lords, quit the party on Saturday over what he called the “violent anti-Israel views” of the allies of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn was reelected Labour Party leader on Saturday with 61.8 percent of the vote of the party membership. His tenure since his election in 2015 has been dogged by accusations that he does not take anti-Semitism within the party seriously enough.
“I think it’s very difficult if you are Jewish and you support Israel to be a member of the Labour Party,” Michell said on Sunday.
“I’m Jewish and I’m very strongly Jewish and I make no bones about it. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jeremy himself is very lukewarm on this subject.
"He’s never been as vociferous in condemning anti-Semitism as he should be, and when he does make a mention of it he combines it with other forms of racism, so he will never say specifically as far as anti-Semitism is concerned,” Lord Mitchell said.
“But even more than that he surrounds himself with a coterie of people who hold violent, violent anti-Israel views and allied with it they are very hostile to Jews. So, in my view, they’re pretty bad guys.”
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday morning, Corbyn described Lord Mitchell's comments as “unfortunate” and said that he hoped Mitchell would “reflect” on what he had said.
“Clearly there are diverse views in the party on issues in the Middle East, but there is unity in the party in opposing any form anti-Semitism, any form of racism, in the party,” Corbyn said.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now