Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019 - 21 of Heshvan, 5780

Former British PM Tony Blair: ‘Antisemitism is killing the Labour Party’

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British MPs have backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a general election, after months of Brexit deadlock, as the House of Commons approved legislation paving the way for the 12 December election.

LONDON—Antisemitism in the Labour Party is ‘’asbolutely killing the party,’’ said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Board of Deputies of British Jews President’s dinner in London.

“Let me be frank, there is going to be a complete battle in the Labour Party because what has happened over these past years – particularly over antisemitism – is absolutely killing the party,” he said.

British MPs have backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a general election, after months of Brexit deadlock, as the House of Commons approved legislation paving the way for the 12 December election.

Blair told the BOD audience: “I think in this election there will be more people who look carefully in a non-tribal way – they will look carefully at the candidates in their constituency to a bigger degree than at any election I can remember.”

He went on to say: “There are really good Labour MPs that are standing in this election. People I know, people I’ve worked with. People who have stood up very strongly on antisemitism in the Labour Party and I want to see them supported.”

Also attending the dinner were Home Secretary Priti Patel, parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, ambassadors, representatives of different faiths and the Jewish community’s senior rabbinic and lay leadership from across the denominations.

In her speech, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “Whether it’s the ongoing uncertainties over the General Election and Brexit; antisemitism going unchecked in the Official Opposition; far-right terrorist attacks on synagogues in the United States and Germany; obsessive criticism of Israel; or even risks to the UK’s supply of etrogs – it has never been more important to have a strong Board of Deputies, changing the narrative and leading the fight for our community.’’

A poll for the Jewish Chronicle last week suggested that under Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party’s ‘s support has plunged to just seven per cent among Jewish voters.

‘’Many in the community could automatically be expected to vote Conservative – particularly with the assurance that it might be the best way to prevent Mr Corbyn reaching Downing Street. But the re-emergence of the Liberal Democrats as a political force has excited many who are angered by the Tory Party’s direction over Brexit,’’ wrote Lee Harpin in The Jewish Chronicle.

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