The Jewish Chronicle

Sir Keir has barely scratched surface of Labour’s problem


It is a statement of the obvious that Sir Keir Starmer has been an improvemen­t on his predecesso­r as Labour leader, if for no other reason than that he is not an antisemite. But that is churlish; Sir Keir has removed much of the hard left from positions of influence within the upper echelons of the party and has embraced the findings of the damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report into Labour under Jeremy Corbyn. But our poll this week confirms the extent of the poison that still infects the the party. Almost half of all members consider Israel to be an apartheid state, a grotesque lie that has become the battle cry of Jew haters across the world — who have found a warm welcome from many Labour members. Seventy per cent dismiss any idea that Labour has a serious antisemiti­sm problem, clearly believing the EHRC report was fiction.

The fact is that while the party leadership may have changed, the broad mass has not and looks back to the Corbyn years not with shame but affection. This poll is a reminder of the extent to which Labour has morphed from being a party which fought racists to one which is home to them. It is a terrible commentary on the state of British politics that one of our two main parties is still suffused with racists. Whatever one’s politics, it is in the interests of us all — of the whole country — that Sir Keir is successful in his pledge to rid Labour of antisemiti­sm. A year after taking office, he has barely scratched the surface of the task required. There should be no place for racists in any supposedly mainstream party.

While the party leadership may have changed, the broad mass has not’

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