Andrew Murray is quoted in a new behind-the-scenes book by journalists Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick McGuire saying about the former Labour leader: “He is very empathetic, Jeremy, but he’s empathetic with the poor, the disadvantaged, the migrant, the marginalised, the people at the bottom of the heap. Happily, that is not the Jewish community in Britain today. He would have had massive empathy with the Jewish community in Britain in the 1930s and he would have been there at Cable Street, there’s no question. But, of course, the Jewish community today is relatively prosperous.”
Some have interpreted Mr Murray’s suggestion that Jews are “relatively prosperous” as reminiscent of the antisemitic trope that Jews are rich, and apparently some Labour MPs have called for him to be disciplined.
Left Out: The Inside Story of Labour under Corbyn also describes how Karie Murphy, Mr Corbyn’s Chief of Staff, suggested some gesture of goodwill by the then-leader towards the Jewish community, including a trip to Auschwitz, a visit to the Jewish Free School in London, an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, or perhaps a mingle at a Progressive synagogue or Jewish old age home. According to The Times, in which the book is being serialised, “all but one of them came to nothing”, the exception being an amendment to Labour’s code of conduct.
The book also reportedly claims that John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor and key Corbyn ally, wanted Mr Corbyn to intervene in a disciplinary case against Dame Margaret Hodge MP, after she called Mr Corbyn and “antisemitic racist”. It is suggested that Mr Corbyn was so offended at being called a racist that he refused to intervene. Consequently, he and Mr McDonnell apparently did not speak to each other “for month”.
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.