The former Labour cabinet minister Ivan Lewis has hit out at his former party, calling it an “institutionally racist, antisemitic party” in an interview for the Jewish Telegraph podcast.
In a blistering attack Mr Lewis warned that supporters of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn would be “facilitating an institutionally racist government if Corbyn got elected” and that “anybody that posts a leaflet, makes a telephone call, or stuffs an envelope on behalf of the Momentum or Corbynite candidates in this election is colluding with and endorsing racism.”
He continued: “If they do that, and don’t see it in that way what they are then acknowledging is that antisemitism is somehow a second class form of racism.” He urged people “even at this late stage to examine their conscience.”
In reference to the International Definition of Antisemitism, which includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” as an example of antisemitism, Mr Lewis asked: “Why are we the only minority that doesn’t have the right to self-determination in our own state? The answer to that is that’s antisemitism, as the definition says.”
He also accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of antisemitism, saying: “The man who wants to be Prime Minister believes that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour”, which is antisemitic according to the International Definition.
Mr Lewis resigned from the Labour Party in 2018, saying that he “could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics”. Accusing Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications, of treating Jews differently, he also revealed that Mr Corbyn had sacked him from the front bench by text message after Mr Lewis requested a meeting to discuss antisemitism with him.
He is now running as an independent candidate in the general election.
On 28th May, the EHRC launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 57,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”