British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday accused the UK’s opposition Labour Party of “tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate,” after a string of its members were suspended for making anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments.
“You know what some people call them — the nasty party,” May told the final session of the Conservative Party’s conference in Birmingham, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Labour, she said, is “not just divided but divisive,” and “determined to pit one against another. To pursue vendettas and settle scores. And to embrace the politics of pointless protest that simply pulls people further apart.”
“That’s what Labour stands for today. Fighting among themselves. Abusing their own MPs. Threatening to end their careers. Tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate,” she continued.
May — who replaced former Conservative leader David Cameron in July after Britain voted to leave the European Union — used her closing speech at the conference to establish her own credentials as a defender of the common man, whose government would seek the middle ground.
She distanced herself from the elitist image many British people associate with the party, while signaling her intention to be more interventionist than traditional conservatives in order to close social and economic gaps.
Labour, she said, had given up the right to present itself as the party of the worker.
“Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretense of moral superiority,” she said, because Labour’s “extreme ideological fixations” had lead them to “simply stop listening to the country, when they abandoned the center ground.”
May later went to the Israeli embassy in London to sign the book of condolences following the death of former president Shimon Peres last week.
— Mark Regev (@MarkRegev) October 5, 2016
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been forced numerous times in recent months to deal with fallout from anti-Semitic rhetoric expressed by some of his closest aides and supporters.
The latest in a string of ill-chosen outbursts came from Corbynite Jackie Walker, who was reportedly suspended five days ago for comments about the national day to honor the victims of the Holocaust.