Len McCluskey, the head of the powerful Unite union, has claimed that antisemitism allegations were used to “undermine” the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Mr McCluskey, who is a major backer of Mr Corbyn, called Mr Corbyn’s critics who supposedly exploited antisemitism to undermine the Labour leader “despicable”.
He said: “I’m absolutely convinced that there were those individuals who opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s election right from the beginning [and] used the antisemitism issue to undermine him – there is no doubt about that.”
Although he observed that “lots of people were genuinely concerned” and graciously added that “I have no problem with that,” he nevertheless insisted that “there were others who were disingenuous.”
This is not the first time Mr McCluskey has tried to minimise the antisemitism scandal that has engulfed the Labour Party. He has previously claimed that the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis is only a problem due to “right-wing media” supposedly exaggerating the issue; he has accused Jewish organisations of plotting to ensure that the Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis is “prolonged and intensified”; and he attacked the Chief Rabbi for calling out Labour antisemitism and the unfitness of its leader for public office.
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.