LONDON — Britain’s main opposition Labour Party is in turmoil after a television documentary renewed allegations that anti-Semitism is rife within its ranks.
In the BBC program, former staff members of the left-of-center party recounted being subjected to anti-Semitic abuse and alleged that senior party officials interfered in complaint investigations.
Accusations of hostility toward Jews have riven Labour since left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime supporter of the Palestinians, became party leader in 2015.
The party condemned the BBC documentary, broadcast last night, saying it contained “deliberate and malicious representations.” It alleged the former staffers who took part had “personal and political axes to grind.”
But many Labour lawmakers express dismay at the allegations.
Legislator Pat McFadden tweets that the program was “powerful and shocking. Huge bravery shown by the young people who spoke out.”
Colleague Jess Phillips says on Twitter that the claims made in the program were “worse than I expected. The Labour party response tells me that they don’t care.”
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson says anti-Semitism is “a sickness in our party” that has to be dealt with.