British Jews still backing Labour despite hate, says John Mann, MP

A senior Labour MP has warned his party and the National Union of Students that they still have a problem with antisemitism.


But John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism, added that Labour still enjoys “significant” backing among the Jewish community.

Speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement’s Chanukah party, held at the party’s HQ in London this week, Mr Mann said: “For two whole generations it was impossible to get away with any antisemitic rhetoric within the NUS.

“That is not the case at this moment of time — and that is not the case within the Labour Party.”

Mr Mann revealed a party member had called for a “pogrom” against him.

He said: “The person is still a member, although that’s unfinished business.

“We don’t want that kind of thing, in society, on the left, in the Labour Party.”

The outspoken MP said he believed the drop in support for Labour among British Jews, especially since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, was not as steep as polls have suggested. He noted the surge in membership numbers for the JLM in the midst of the party’s antisemitism crisis — with figures showing more than 2,000 people have now joined the group.

Jeremy Newmark, national chair of the JLM, spoke of the “political and physical attacks on Jewish identity” which had taken place over the past year.

He paid tribute to Jewish Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Louise Ellman and Ruth Smeeth, all of whom faced sustained problems with antisemitic attacks this year.

Ms Berger, who is the parliamentary chair of the JLM, told guests: “It has been a difficult year for many 
of us – but I hope we can be positive about what comes next.”

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