Corbyn's Labour would boycott Israel, says Tory minister

Sajid Javid attacked Jeremy Corbyn's stance on Israel and BDS at a packed Board of Deputies and JC election 2017 hustings event on Sunday after Labour's Keir Starmer attempted to defend his party's policy


A Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would boycott Israel if one ever came to power, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has claimed, at a Board of Deputies & Jewish Chronicle hustings event on Sunday.

Labour's Sir Keir Starmer was accused by the Conservative minister of hiding the truth after claiming that his party opposed boycotts of Israel under its current leadership.

Speaking at the event in central London, Sir Keir, shadow Brexit Secretary, had attempted to reassure the packed audience of his party's policy on Israel and on BDS saying: "The Labour Party is against boycotts - and I am against boycotts."

But Mr Javid rounded on the record of Jeremy Corbyn on the issue saying: "BDS is wrong, full-stop.

"It is just not right when you say the Labour Party does not support boycotts of Israel. You are misleading these good people.

"Jeremy Corbyn has said when asked about the BDS campaign - and I quote: "BDS is part and parcel of a process to be adopted.' And when he was asked about it again he said 'Sanctions are an appropriate way of dealing with Israel.'

"That is Labour's position - if they were ever near power they would boycott Israel."

A clearly angered Keir Starmer responded : "It pains me there's a discussion about antisemitism in my party - Ken Livingstone should have been expelled."

The panel - who also included Lib Dem Baroness Ludford and the SNP's Kirsten Oswald -  was also asked about the government's record on the Human Rights Act and on Lord Dubs' Refugees Amendment.

Baroness Ludford eched Sir Keir's remark that it had been "disgraceful" how the government had backed away from a pledge to allow 3000 child refugees into the UK from Syria.

Ms Oswald said  it was "really important I was able to represent the SNP here."

There were further questions on Britain's housing crisis and Brexit at the event which was chaired by by the Board's chief executive Gillian Merron.

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