The leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has been beset with antisemitism scandals since he took over leadership of the party in 2015, has been caught on tape admitting that evidence of antisemitism within the party has been “ignored or not used.”
The secret recording was obtained and published by The Sunday Times over the weekend.
The comments were reportedly made during a private conversation with Dame Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP who has been outspoken against antisemitism within the party and a frequent critic of Corbyn.
The discussion revolved around efforts to investigate incidents of antisemitism, and Corbyn’s desire to appoint Lord Falconer, a former government minister, to oversee them.
“The point of him is that he will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them, and the collation of the evidence before it is put before appropriate panels and things,” Corbyn says to Hodge on the tape.
“Because I was concerned that evidence was either being mislaid, ignored or not used and that there had to be some better system,” he added.
A Labour spokesperson put a positive spin on the revelations, saying, “This shows Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.”
Speaking to BBC radio, Hodge was less sanguine, saying the tape “reflects a complete breakdown of trust between people like me and the leader of the Labour party.”
She added that she made the tape as an “insurance policy” against being “misrepresented.”
She also said she believed that Corbyn “was lying or he was being lied to.”
Under Corbyn, Labour has faced a stream of antisemitism scandals, some of them touching Corbyn himself. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of British Jews consider him personally antisemitic.
The Algemeiner (c) 2019 . Benjamin Kerstein