After Chief Rabbi’s sting­ing at­tack on Labour, Scots Jewish lead­ers warn Stur­geon against hand­ing party keys to No10

Scottish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Edi­tor

JEWISH lead­ers in Scot­land have ac­cused Ni­cola Stur­geon of ‘do­ing a deal with the devil’ by pre­par­ing to help Jeremy Cor­byn into No10. Prom­i­nent fig­ures in the Jewish com­mu­nity voiced con­cern over the pos­si­bil­ity of a pact be­tween the Na­tion­al­ists and a mi­nor­ity Labour gov­ern­ment.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has strongly crit­i­cised Labour, claim­ing the party is not do­ing enough to root out anti-Semitism.

Paul Edlin, pres­i­dent of the Glas­gow Jewish Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil, said the First Min­is­ter would be do­ing a ‘deal with the devil’.

The in­ter­ven­tion came as Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn last night de­clined four times to apol­o­gise to the com­mu­nity in a BBC in­ter­view with vet­eran jour­nal­ist An­drew Neil.

Mr Cor­byn also de­nied that al­le­ga­tions of anti-Semitism had in­creased since he took

over as party leader. El­liot Davis, cochair­man of the Judeo-Chris­tian Al­liance, warned that Jews were fear­ful of Mr Cor­byn win­ning power.

Scottish Tory can­di­date for East Ren­frew­shire, Paul Master­ton, said: ‘The Jewish com­mu­nity in Scot­land are rightly con­cerned about Ni­cola Stur­geon’s sup­port for Jeremy Cor­byn.

‘It’s clear that she re­gards another in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum as more im­por­tant than the well­be­ing and con­cerns of this mi­nor­ity group. That tells you ev­ery­thing you need to know about the SNP and its list of pri­or­i­ties.’

Mr Edlin told the Mail: ‘We would be very con­cerned about Ni­cola Stur­geon do­ing a deal with the Labour Party in view of re­ported anti-Semitism un­der Jeremy Cor­byn’s lead­er­ship – any­one do­ing a deal with Cor­byn would be do­ing a deal with the devil.’

Writ­ing in to­day’s Mail, Mr Davis ac­cuses Miss Stur­geon of ‘putting her own nar­row political agenda ahead of the ur­gent need to chal­lenge the de­struc­tive prej­u­dice that is bring­ing Labour to its knees’. Mr Davis adds that many Jews would see the pro­posed SNP-Labour pact as an ‘ab­ject sur­ren­der that would ef­fec­tively throw their com­mu­nity un­der a bus in a bid to ful­fil the SNP’s core mis­sion of split­ting apart the UK’.

Yes­ter­day, he said: ‘Bri­tish Jews are fear­ful, they look at the sup­port Cor­byn has gar­nered from both far-Left and far-Right; they are aware of the grow­ing vi­o­lent threats, and they are con­cerned for their safety and for the safety of their loved ones.

‘They look at Cor­byn’s words, his ac­tions (and in­ac­tions), and are in no doubt about his com­plic­ity in the racism scan­dal en­gulf­ing Labour. He has never shown any em­pa­thy for the vast ma­jor­ity of Bri­tish Jews, who also in­ci­den­tally be­lieve in Is­rael’s right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.’

Labour is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Equal­ity and Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion over al­leged in­sti­tu­tional anti-Semitism.

Com­ment­ing on Mr Davis’s re­marks, a Scottish Labour spokesman said: ‘Labour is com­mit­ted to the sup­port, de­fence and cel­e­bra­tion of the Jewish com­mu­nity.

‘We are tak­ing ro­bust and de­ci­sive ac­tion to root out anti-Semitism in our party and wider so­ci­ety. Re­forms over the last 18 months have led to an in­crease of more than four-fold in the rate at which cases are dealt with.

‘Jeremy Cor­byn’s pro­posal for fast-track ex­pul­sions is now be­ing im­ple­mented and Jeremy has launched an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme to bet­ter ed­u­cate mem­bers and sup­port­ers about the var­i­ous forms of anti-Semitism.’

An SNP spokesman said: ‘The SNP has signed up to and fully sup­ports the In­ter­na­tional Holo­caust Remembranc­e Al­liance def­i­ni­tion of anti-Semitism and we will not tol­er­ate it in any way. The SNP has made clear our dis­ap­point­ment in and op­po­si­tion to both Jeremy Cor­byn and Boris John­son, and we call on all par­ties to show lead­er­ship in call­ing out anti-Semitism.’

Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son yes­ter­day ac­cused Mr Cor­byn of fail­ing to stamp out the ‘virus’ of anti-Semitism.

Asked about Rabbi Mirvis’s com­ments and how Miss Stur­geon should re­spond given that she is pre­pared to do a deal with Mr Cor­byn, he said: ‘That’s a mat­ter for Ni­cola. All I’ll say about that is I do think it is a very se­ri­ous busi­ness when the Chief Rabbi speaks as he does.

‘I’ve never seen any­thing like it and clearly it is a fail­ure of lead­er­ship on the part of the Labour leader, who has not been able to stamp out this virus in the Labour Party.’

Scottish Tory leader Jack­son Car­law said: ‘I’ve met the Chief Rabbi, he’s an enor­mously dig­ni­fied and hum­ble man, he is not some­body who would feel it nec­es­sary to in­ter­vene in a Gen­eral Election cam­paign lightly – and I think ev­ery­one should re­spect what he has to say.’

‘Grow­ing threats’

Chief Rabbi: Ephraim Mirvis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.