World / Politics

Anti-Semitism vile and wrong, U.K. Labour leader says after accusation from top rabbi

Reuters

Anti-Semitism is vile and wrong and will not be tolerated in any form under a Labour government, party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Tuesday after Britain’s chief rabbi accused him of failing to stem the “poison” gripping the opposition party.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, in an article in The Times, questioned how complicit in prejudice an opposition leader would have to be to be considered unfit for office.

“Anti-Semitism in any form is vile and wrong,” Corbyn said at the launch of Labour’s race and faith manifesto, adding that the party’s door would be open to all faith leaders.

“There is no place whatsoever for anti-Semitism in any shape or form or in any place whatsoever in modern Britain, and under a Labour government it will not be tolerated in any form, whatsoever. I want to make that clear.”

When asked about the rabbi’s attack on Corbyn, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “All I will say about that is I do think it is a very serious business when the chief rabbi speaks as he does.”

“I’ve never known anything like it and clearly it is a failure of leadership on the part of the Labour leader that he has not been able to stamp out this virus in the Labour Party.”