Police in London said Tuesday they will investigate a leaked Labour dossier containing dozens of allegations of anti-Semitism by party members.
Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick vowed to probe whether the cases mentioned in the internal document, which was obtained by London-based LBC radio, could constitute hate crimes.
The dossier lists 45 claims of anti-Semitic behavior by party members, though it was unclear what action, if any, the party took in the cases.
“We will scope it, we will see whether a crime has taken place,” Dick told LBC. “I, of course, will pass this to my experts to look at.”
A former hate crime investigator for the police who read the dossier told the Telegraph he believed at least 21 of the incidents merited further investigation by police.
In one case, a Labour member allegedly said, “Shall we rid the Jews who are cancer on us all”; another called a child a “Jew boy”; another suggested throwing Jewish MPs off a cliff during an abseiling event for charity; yet another said “Zionist extremist MPs” would “get a good kicking.”
The Evening Standard reported that the cases were possibly still being reviewed by Labour’s internal disciplinary committee.
But Simon Johnson, CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “If so many of these cases are serious enough to be referred to the police and yet Labour is dragging their heels in dealing with them, then that clearly contributes to the complete lack of confidence that the Jewish community has [in the party].”
He added that if party chief Jeremy Corbyn “was a competent leader of the Labour Party, he would have already dealt with these cases of anti-Semitism months ago. He would have rid this party of the stain that now affects them.”
Jewish leaders have long accused the party of not taking accusations of ingrained anti-Semitism within the party seriously.
Earlier this year Jeremy Newmark, the head of the Jewish Labour Movement, said there was “a vast backlog of cases involving alleged anti-Semitism that appear to be stuck in the system, in some cases for over a year.”
Leaders of Labour met Tuesday to decide whether to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism, after internal strife on the issue and souring ties with the Jewish community.
The party’s governing body decided earlier this summer to accept only a partial interpretation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition, reigniting a long-running row over anti-Semitism that has led to fears of a formal split.
The Labour leadership has argued that the definition of anti-Semitism, signed by 31 countries and used by many British institutions, includes legitimate criticism of Israel.
Corbyn, a veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner, has repeatedly come under fire over his own past comments, actions, and associations.
Former chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks has branded Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite, and accused him of giving “support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate, who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.”
Sacks said Sunday the majority of Jews are questioning whether Britain is a safe place to bring up their children.
Veteran Labour lawmaker Frank Field, who has sat in the House of Commons for almost 40 years, quit the party’s group in parliament Thursday over the mounting anti-Semitism allegations.
In a letter to the party, he said that Corbyn’s leadership was overseeing an “erosion of our core values.”
The Times reported Sunday that a group of 15 Labour MPs are on the verge of breaking away and forming a new party out of frustration with his handling of the widespread scandal surrounding the issue.
In July Britain’s three Jewish newspapers, usually vigorous competitors, united in publishing identical front-page editorials warning of the “existential” threat to British Jewry that a government led by Corbyn would pose.