Public figures denounce Labour over its association with anti-Semitism

PUBLISHED: 08:37 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 15 November 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses a Labour rally at the O2 Academy in Manchester, while on the General Election campaign trail.  Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses a Labour rally at the O2 Academy in Manchester, while on the General Election campaign trail. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Dan Snow, Nick Hewer, and Joanna Lumley have declared their refusal to vote Labour because of its association with anti-Semitism.

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In a letter to the Guardian, the group said the path to a more tolerant society "must encompass Britain's Jews with unwavering solidarity" and said Jeremy Corbyn has "a long record of embracing anti-Semites as comrades".

Signatories of the letter also include actor Simon Callow, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and author Frederick Forsyth.

They wrote: "The coming election is momentous for every voter, but for British Jews it contains a particular anguish: the prospect of a prime minister steeped in association with anti-Semitism.

"Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism against Jews.

"Two Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. Mr Corbyn has a long record of embracing anti-Semites as comrades.

"We listen to our Jewish friends and see how their pain has been relegated as an issue, pushed aside by arguments about Britain's European future.

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"For those who insist that Labour is the only alternative to Boris Johnson's hard Brexit, now, it seems, is not the time for Jewish anxiety.

"But anti-Semitism is central to a wider debate about the kind of country we want to be.

"To ignore it because Brexit looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government.

"Which other community's concerns are disposable in this way? Who would be next?

"Opposition to racism cannot include surrender in the fight against anti-Semitism. Yet that is what it would mean to back Labour and endorse Mr Corbyn for Downing Street.

"The path to a more tolerant society must encompass Britain's Jews with unwavering solidarity. We endorse no party.

"However, we cannot in all conscience urge others to support a political party we ourselves will not. We refuse to vote Labour on December 12."

The other signatories are John le Carre, Fay Weldon, William Boyd, Antony Beevor, Sathnam Sanghera, Janina Ramirez, Trevor Phillips, Suzannah Lipscomb, Tom Holland, Peter Frankopan, Ghanem Nuseibeh, Fiyaz Mughal, Tony Parsons, Dan Jones, Maajid Nawaz, Oz Katerji, Ed Husain and Terry Jervis.

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