Ivan Lewis attacks Jeremy Corbyn, saying he has turned Labour into party of 'institutionalised antisemitism'

The Bury South MP has sat as an independent since quitting the party over Jew-hate and a delayed investigation into sexual harassment allegations


MP Ivan Lewis accused Jeremy Corbyn of transforming Labour into a “party of institutionalised antisemitism” in the Commons on Monday, and was met by applause, as well as groans by some Labour MPs.

Wearing a kippah as he spoke in the House of Commons on Monday night in the debate before the prorogation of Parliament, MP for Bury South, who left Labour last year, said: “A majority of Jews in this country feel they would not be safe in the event of [Mr Corbyn] becoming Prime Minister”.

He said: “His leadership has led to the party of anti-racism and equality becoming the party of institutionalised antisemitism.”

The comment was met with disapproval from a number of Labour MPs, including Liz McInnes, the MP for Heywood and Middleton, who told Mr Lewis “You’ve really let yourself down there” as he raised antisemitism.

In his speech, Mr Lewis also criticised Labour for refusing to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s push for a general election before the current Brexit deadline of October 31.

He said he was facing calls to face a by-election since he quit Labour last year to sit as an independent.

He added: "That is what the Momentum-types in my constituency keep saying—that I am running away from the electorate by not having a by-election now I am an Independent.

"I am voting for a general election tonight. I am willing to face the people in my constituency, unlike too many of the people on these Benches."

Mr Lewis resigned from Labour in December, citing the party’s antisemitism crisis and an "unnecessary and politically motivated delay” in the investigation into his conduct.

He was suspended by the party in November 2017 after he was accused of sexual harassment. He quit the party in December 2018.

The prime minister's motion for an early general election failed with just 293 MPs voting for it.

Parliament was officially prorogued – or suspended – just before 2am on Tuesday, and will reopen on October 14.

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