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Anti-semitism campaigners file complaint against Jeremy Corbyn

Published 23/09/2016

Jeremy Corbyn must show he can unite the Labour Party if he is re-elected leader, former minister Caroline Flint has said
Jeremy Corbyn must show he can unite the Labour Party if he is re-elected leader, former minister Caroline Flint has said

The Campaign Against Anti-semitism (CAA) has filed a formal complaint against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The group has taken action over a video posted on Mr Corbyn's official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In the video, Mr Corbyn's supporters answer questions on topics they are "tired of hearing" about, which includes whether they promote anti-semitism.

The video has subsequently been deleted from social media.

The CAA said this is the latest in a long of line of incidents where Mr Corbyn and his supporters have failed to address anti-semitism.

The group has now sent a complaint letter to deputy leader Tom Watson, to present to Labour's national executive committee.

The letter accuses Mr Corbyn of "committing acts that are grossly detrimental to the party, namely characterising Jewish people as dissembling and dishonest in their reporting of anti-semitism, and by using the influence and prestige of his office to disseminate and normalise that lie".

It continues: "The allegation that Jews lie and deceive in order to further hidden agendas is an age-old anti-semitic trope.

"It has now been manifestly deployed by Mr Corbyn in his leadership campaign video."

The CAA accuses Mr Corbyn and his allies of having "a long association with anti-semites".

It goes on to list a series of incidents where it says Mr Corbyn and his supporters dismissed allegations of anti-semitism.

The letter says: "This week, Mr Corbyn's personal Facebook and Twitter accounts released a video featuring supporters declaring they were 'tired of hearing' about anti-semitism, characterising the Jewish community's complaints as 'rubbish' - physically and metaphorically - to be tossed onto the floor.

"In an admission of guilt, the video has been withdrawn, but by then it had been viewed and endorsed over 200,000 times, and there has been no rebuttal by Mr Corbyn.

"These accumulated acts committed by Mr Corbyn himself or under his direct leadership form the basis of our complaint under the clauses stated above."

It continues: "Under Mr Corbyn, the Labour Party that was once a pioneer in the fight against racism, has made itself deaf to Jews.

"Labour's institutions have failed to act decisively against Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Ken Livingstone and countless others.

"It is now high time that the party acted to preserve its values, and to defend the much-abused Jewish community against the anti-semitic lie promoted by Mr Corbyn that our complaints of anti-semitism are hollow and motivated by hidden agendas.

Mr Corbyn's leadership has been dogged with allegations of failing to tackle anti-semitism and abuse in the party.

Ruth Smeeth, a Jewish MP who has called for Mr Corbyn to do more to crack down on abuse after she received tens of thousands of offensive messages, including anti-semitic abuse, is set to attend the party's conference this weekend with a bodyguard, given fears for her safety.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "When it was pointed out that the way in which the video was edited may cause offence, we apologised and withdrew the video immediately."

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