Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has insisted that he is “100% behind Jeremy Corbyn…I am working with Jeremy Corbyn to win the next general election.”
Sir Keir made the comments on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on 20th October.
When questioned on Dame Louise Ellman’s resignation from the Labour Party over antisemitism, Sir Keir conceded: “I think it’s a really low moment. A really low moment. And what I want to do is to redouble our efforts to make sure that Louise and others feel that the Labour Party is a party that they can return to. We’ve already done a lot of work on this. We need to do more. But the end destination for me is a Labour Party where those that have left because of this issue feel that they can return. That will be the judgment for me that will be the test of whether we’ve succeeded.”
When Mr Marr pointed out that Dame Louise laid the blame with Mr Corbyn and accused him of being a danger not just to the Labour Party but to the entire British Jewish community, Sir Keir rejected Dame Louise’s conclusions: “I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that. I do accept that as a Labour Party we have to root out antisemitism and we have to demonstrate to people like Louise that this is a Party that she can return to.”
On Mr Corbyn’s role in Labour’s antisemitism crisis, Sir Keir stated that “I personally don’t find that this personalising takes us very far. We have got an issue with antisemitism in the Party. We’ve got a problem that there is antisemitism. We’ve got a bigger problem that some people don’t acknowledge it. We’re working on that. We’ve got to do that collectively. The test will be whether those that have concerns as Louise did feel that they can return to the Labour Party. When they do, I will consider that we’ve succeeded.”
Joe Glasman, Head of Political and Government Investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is shameful that Sir Keir Starmer remains loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and will be campaigning to make him Prime Minister, despite an overwhelming majority of British Jews believing that Mr Corbyn is an antisemite and has cultivated antisemitism in the Labour Party. Labour has become institutionally antisemitic and is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, but that is apparently not enough to make Sir Keir think again about his priorities. Louise Ellman rightly recognised that, come a general election, Labour MPs will have to decide whether they support installing an antisemite in Downing Street or not. Sir Keir has made his decision, and he should be ashamed.
“Sir Keir is not alone. Throughout the years of Mr Corbyn’s leadership, all senior members of the Labour Party, including John McDonnell and even such figures as Tom Watson and the highly critical Lord Falconer, have tried to make the argument that this is nothing to do with the Labour leadership, but rather its new members or its inadequate ‘processes’. Their collective comments are in themselves a contributing factor to the institutionalising of antisemitism in the Party, which they worsen rather than alleviate.”
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”