Justin Welby made the remark at an event at a Jewish community centre last week in a public conversation with the Chief Rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis.
Shortly before the 2019 General Election, Rabbi Mirvis asked in The Times how far Mr Corbyn would have to go to be considered “unfit for office”, rhetorically asking readers: “What will the result of this election say about the moral compass of our country? When December 12 arrives, I ask every person to vote with their conscience. Be in no doubt, the very soul of our nation is at stake.”
Archbishop Welby subsequently issued a statement warning that there is a “deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews.”
In the conversation last week, Archbishop Welby recalled the the Chief Rabbi had forewarned him that he was going to speak out, and the Archbishop recounted: “I said immediately I will support you,” the Archbishop said. He further observed that his staff supported his decision “without hesitation”.
The Chief Rabbi said during the conversation: “The Archbishop of Canterbury volunteered to issue his voice… There was an enormous amount of courage and we appreciated it enormously”. The Archbishop responded: “I think it would have been cowardice not to say something. It was so obviously right I knew I would never forgive myself if we didn’t speak clearly…I know my history…You have to cut off these things off straight away because if you don’t, they become overwhelming.”
The event was held by the Yoni Jesner Foundation to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the murder of Yoni Jesner in a terror attack on a bus while he was studying at a yeshiva in Israel.