Labour MPs march with Jewish colleague to party hearing

Emily Thornberry and BBC host Nick Robinson

Jewish groups say Britain's main opposition Labour Party is still failing to tackle anti-Semitism, despite a promise by leader Jeremy Corbyn to stamp out anti-Jewish prejudice.

Speaking ahead of the much-anticipated meeting with the two Jewish leaders on Tuesday, Corbyn, for the first time, criticized the blatant anti-Semitism of the PLO, which the Times said was "one of the most significant breaks from his supporters".

The meeting with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Board of Deputies for British Jews in Mr Corbyn's office lasted 90 minutes longer than scheduled, but ended without agreement.

He welcomed the warm words from Mr Corbyn, but was frustrated that he wouldn't even meet the simplest of requests from the Jewish community to deal with the issue.

Corbyn, who was present at the meeting, said nothing. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress.

But Mr McCluskey - who previously described the anti-Semitism claims as "mood music" - said: "Here are two truths about the state of the Labour party today".

Expectations before Tuesday's meeting were low, reported British broadcaster ITV, with little progress being made in preparatory discussions on Monday between representatives from the Jewish groups and Seumas Milne, Corbyn's director of strategy and communications. He repeated in the main points of his Evening Standard apology and concluded by promising to "lay out the further steps we are taking in the coming weeks", and that his party "will not fail our Jewish brothers and sisters".

In an interview on this morning's Today programme on Radio Four, the MP for Denton and Reddish added that the party must work to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.

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MP Luciana Berger, who is Jewish, demanded action from the party on the issue.

"We need to end the Conservative's constant pandering to a rich elite at the top and their attempts to divide the rest of us, creating a "hostile environment" for people who come to contribute to our country".

The Labour party says it plans to create new public holidays for the United Kingdom - including on St George's Day.

He added that Jeremy Corbyn had set out how there was "no place" for anti-Semitism in the party.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews is composed of nearly 300 representatives elected by synagogues and other Jewish organizations from across the United Kingdom, and seeks to advocate for the interests of the Jewish community among British decision-makers.

The hearing, held by Labour's National Constitutional Committee, will determine whether Wadsworth should be expelled from the party, after verbally attacking Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti report almost two years ago.

"The Jewish community leave the meeting saying it was worse than useless".

"I am absolutely committed to rooting out anti-Semitism", Mr Corbyn said.

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