London mayor, a Muslim, joins Jewish Labour group in solidarity with community

Sadiq Khan laments ‘depressing collapse of trust between Labour and Jewish community,’ day after Corbyn is heard admitting evidence of Jew hatred in party may have been ignored

Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan is greeted by well wishers outside City Hall in London, on his first day as mayor, May 9, 2016. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)
Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan is greeted by well wishers outside City Hall in London, on his first day as mayor, May 9, 2016. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)

London mayor Sadiq Khan announced Monday that he has joined the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) as an affiliate member and encouraged his colleagues and “decent members” of the Labour party to do likewise.

In a statement, the London mayor, who is a Muslim, said the party “has been too slow at stamping out appalling anti-Semitism” and decried “a depressing collapse of trust between Labour and the Jewish community,” the Jewish Chronicle reported.

“Like me, the vast majority of those within the party are devastated by how let down the Jewish community and Jewish Labour members are feeling,” Khan said. “That’s why it’s so important that we come together across the Labour movement to do whatever we can to make Jewish people feel at home in our party once again.”

Khan’s statement came a day after a leaked recording revealed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn admitting that evidence of anti-Semitism in his party may have been “mislaid, ignored or not used.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the Newport Centre, in Newport, South Wales, during a campaign rally for prospective parliamentary candidate Ruth Jones who is standing in the Newport West by-election, March 30, 2019. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)

Last week it was reported that the office of Corbyn, who has himself faced accusations of anti-Semitism, has intervened in at least 101 complaints of anti-Jewish hatred within the party. Hours after the report was published, JLM passed a motion of no-confidence in Corbyn.

Khan’s announcement comes after former British prime minister Gordon Brown said he was joining the Jewish Labour Movement in a bid to combat rising anti-Semitism within the opposition party.

Brown made his announcement in a video released by the Hope not Hate organization, which works to challenge racism, saying the party has “let the Jewish community and itself down” over the past two years, in a reference to the anti-Semitism accusations that have dogged the party and its leadership.

The fight against antisemitism

"No ifs, no buts, no qualifications, no caveats.” Gordon Brown has a message to Labour supporters: the fight against antisemitism is a fight for all of us to wage. (Credit: Silverfish)

Posted by HOPE not hate on Monday, April 1, 2019

In the video, Brown spoke of “the promises we made following the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust to the Jewish community: that you will never walk alone and we will never walk by on the other side.”

He also noted that the party “should never have allowed legitimate criticism — that I share — of the current Israeli government to act as a cover for the demonization of the entire Jewish people.”

Alleged hate speech against Jews has risen within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn, a far-left politician, was elected to lead the party. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has accused Corbyn of encouraging anti-Semitic rhetoric and at times engaging in it, though he disputes the claim.

Following growing public scrutiny of the problem, Labour is facing the prospect of an official inquiry by the United Kingdom’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, the main government anti-racism watchdog.

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