Claims of antisemitism in Labour 'whitewashed' by Chakrabarti Inquiry


Shami Chakrabarti has been accused of ignoring claims that senior members of Jeremy Corbyn’s team have a “blind spot” when it comes to antisemitism.

Josh Simons, who was a policy adviser in Mr Corbyn’s office, says that he gave evidence to Ms Chakrabarti’s inquiry into antisemitism in the party, but that it was not referred to when the report was published. This was despite the fact – a friend of Mr Simons told The Sunday Times- that the former employee believed some of the leader’s team had “at least a blind spot with antisemitism and at worst a wilful disregard for it”

Mr Simons, who no longer works for the leader, is said to have made a detailed submission to the inquiry, which included the claim that one member of the Labour leader’s office referred to a “Jewish conspiracy”.

However when Ms Chakrabarti, who has since been nominated for a Labour peerage, announced her findings five weeks ago, she made no suggestion there might be problems at the top of the party.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said Ms Chakrabarti had not ignored the submission from Mr Simons.

He told The Sunday Times: “Shami took evidence from more than 100 stakeholders and all submissions were taken into consideration when formulating the report’s recommendations.”

Mr Simons first submitted his evidence through Baroness Royall, the inquiry’s vice-chairwoman, before talking to Ms Chakrabarti.

According to his friend, Mr Simons, was subjected to an “inquisition” by Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s director of strategy, about being Jewish.

Mr Milne is said to have “ranted” about Israel and quizzed Mr Simons about his family and his attitude to the Jewish state.

According to The Sunday Times, Mr Simons, is said to be in disbelief by the “complete absence of any reference whatsoever” to what he described, in the report.

Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said the allegations against the party leader’s office “are false and part of the campaign against his leadership”.

The spokesman said: “The person making these claims is a disgruntled former member of staff.”

* Last night questions were raised over a £10,000 donation to Mr Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign, from a Leicester-based anti-Israel group.

According to the Observer, the Friends of Al-Aqsa gave Mr Corbyn’s team a cheque for £10,000 in August 2015, although the gift has never been made public.

Any donations above £7,500 must be declared to the Electoral Commission, but the Labour leader’s team insisted that the cheque was never cashed.

A campaign spokesman told The Observer that the cheque had been made out to the wrong person and “there is nothing dodgy going on”.

In another connection with funding, a Jewish businessman has claimed that Mr Corbyn has asked to meet him to have “a coffee”.

According to sources the party leader is worried that Labour would be unable to fund a snap election campaign, and has approached controversial property developer David Abrahams”.

Mr Abrahams breached electoral laws in 2007 by secretly giving £600,000 to Labour via middlemen.

Mr Abrahams is said to have told The Daily Mail: “I was at a function and he said would you be available for coffee?”

The property developer said he would not rule out the possibility of funding the Labour Party.

He said: “I have an open mind on anything. I am not a high donor at the moment. All options are on the table.”

He added that he would want to discuss the issue of antisemitism in the party.

“If I have a meeting, that’s one of the issues that would be on the table,” he told the newspaper.

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