Jewish hate row could hit Labour chances – McDonnell
SHADOW Chancellor John McDonnell has admitted he worries the issue of anti-Semitism within Labour may have impacted on the party’s chances of winning the General Election.
Mr McDonnell maintained his party has “done everything we can possibly do”, but “wants to learn more lessons”.
He added that there were only “a small number” of anti-Semites in the Labour Party, and that Labour has “started kicking them out in numbers”.
His comments were made on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday after a Sunday Times report claimed Labour is still overwhelmed with complaints about anti-Jewish racism that have been left unresolved for months or years.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “All of these individuals are either expelled or suspended, and these claims about numbers of cases are categorically untrue.”
Mr McDonnell described the issue of anti-Semitism as “horrible”.
Asked whether if Labour loses the upcoming General Election, anti-Semitism will have been part of the reason, he said: “I worry that this has had its effect, and we’ve done everything I think we can possibly do.
“We’ve apologised to the Jewish community.”
Meanwhile, the Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly has apologised for Islamophobia in his party.
Mr Cleverly said he is “sorry” for the cases involving both Tory members and candidates, but that he is “confident” there is now “a robust mechanism” in place to deal with the issue.
He added that an inquiry into Islamophobia will be initiated this calendar year and take place next year, with preparatory work already under way.