Jewish leaders say Keir Starmer has already done more than Jeremy Corbyn to tackle anti-Semitism

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 07 April 2020

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer arrives at BBC Broadcasting House. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Newly-elected Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer arrives at BBC Broadcasting House. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Jewish leaders have praised new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for having ‘achieved in four days more than his predecessor in four years’ with his steps to tackle anti-Semitism in the party.

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Sir Keir, who replaced Jeremy Corbyn as leader on Saturday after convincingly winning a three-month leadership contest, spoke to Jewish leaders over Skype, along with deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

The former shadow Brexit secretary has asked for all the outstanding anti-Semitism cases to be “on my desk at the end of the week”, while also vowing to set up an independent complaints process.

The Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Jonathan Goldstein, Community Security Trust chairman Gerald Ronson and Jewish Labour Movement chairman Mike Katz issued a joint statement following the online meeting.

They said: “While we would have fully understood the need to focus entirely on coronavirus at this time, Keir Starmer has already achieved in four days more than his predecessor in four years in addressing anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

“As we discussed with Keir and Angela, we want to have a normal relationship with Labour whereby we can discuss the full range of issues affecting our community, from religious freedom to Israel, from Jewish schools to poverty, from refugees to the environment - and not just anti-Semitism.”

“This has certainly been a good start. If the new Labour leadership continues in this way, we can work together to make the changes that will make Labour a proudly anti-racist party once again.”

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