Brown: We have to move ahead true to our values
GORDON BROWN has delivered a damning rebuke of Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to redefine what constitutes antisemitism.
Delivering the keynote speech at Sunday’s Jewish Labour Movement conference, the former PM said only the adoption of the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition would remove a “stain” caused by the party adopting a watered down version instead in July.
Mr Brown said the decision was “not just a procedural issue but about the soul of the party”.
He spoke ahead of Tuesday’s vote by the party’s governing body, the NEC, on whether to adopt the IHRA definition.
“The sore that exists and the harm that has been done, and the hurt it has caused, has got to be undone.”
Attacking the failure of Labour’s leadership to consult with the Jewish community over the definition, he added: “Would you produce a document on sexism produced by men only?
“Or would you produce a document on racism without consulting the black community?
“Would you produce a document on homophobia without consulting the LGBT community?”
He said of Jew-hate on the left: “We must be honest with ourselves that antisemitism and racism, yes it’s a problem with the jackbooted right in our community, but it’s also a problem with the conspiracy theorists on the left.”
Mr Brown added: “The Labour Party has often been the last line of defence for people facing persecution and dis- crimination, and you know we must never allow the last line of defence to become the first point of attack.
“We must never allow ourselves to be in a position where we are the problem. Or the answer to the problem.
“So I want to make it very clear to you today that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism is something that we should support unanimously unequivocally and immediately.”
Mr Brown received a standing ovation when he called for urgent action to be taken against Labour’s antisemites.
He said: “It cannot be hesitant, it cannot be grudging.
“We can’t just move on we have to move forward true to our values and true to our principles of equality and solidarity and in respect of the wishes of the Jewish community.”
Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson and Board Of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl were among those to stand and applaud Mr Brown at the end of his speech.
JLM parliamentary chair Luciana Berger told Mr Brown: “There is no one I would rather have on the barricades.”
Genuine friend: Gordon Brown