Jeremy Corbyn says his brother was 'not wrong' to condemn Jewish MP’s antisemitism fears

Jeremy Corbyn has defended his brother, Piers, for a tweet describing fears of antisemitism as 'absurd'


Jeremy Corbyn has defended his brother for tweeting that it was “absurd” for a Jewish MP to call on the Labour leader to do more to tackle antisemitism.

Mr Corbyn said his sibling, Piers, was “not wrong” to claim that it was preposterous to question the leader’s efforts.

Labour’s Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman had told Sky News on Sunday that some activists were being allowed to “get away” with Jew-hate comments online, and urged Jeremy Corbyn to take action.

Following her comments, Piers Corbyn tweeted that “#Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine”.

But Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday that his party was taking “resolute action” on the antisemitism allegations faced by party members.

Following a speech in Essex, Mr Corbyn was asked by the Sun whether he agreed with his brother’s tweet.

Mr Corbyn said: “We're opposed to any form of racism. We're investigating allegations of antisemitism but I wouldn't call it a crisis. We as a party are taking resolute action.

"I'm doing everything I should do as a responsible leader to ensure that any allegation of any racism of any sort, be it antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other form of racism is investigated and dealt with."

Pushed by Sun correspondent Harry Cole on whether he believed his brother had been wrong to post the tweet, Mr Corbyn said: “No my brother isn't wrong. My brother has his point of view, I have mine. We actually fundamentally agree - we are a family that has been fighting racism from the day we were born. My mother was at Cable Street."

The JC revealed yesterday that Mrs Ellman had been targeted by activists who were “hell-bent” on attacking her at meetings of her constituency party.

The orchestrated campaign against the MP for Liverpool Riverside from within her own local branch had created an “intimidating and hostile” atmosphere for Jewish members, a councillor said.

The verbal attacks took place during the past two months, with a small group of hard-left activists attending the sessions to attack her.

Labour said it was investigating a complaint about the incidents.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews called Jeremy Corbyn’s defence of his brother's tweet "deeply disturbing".

In a statement, Board president Jonathan Arkush said: "We cannot imagine that any other minority's concerns would be dismissed off-hand in this way."

He added: "In the last few weeks we have witnessed a stream of clear-cut cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party, which can't just be fobbed off as differences over Israel. Most of the Jewish community, numerous Labour MPs, Labour peers, and Labour's London mayoral candidate are crying out for the leader to take action on antisemitism. It would be incomprehensible for Mr Corbyn to remain inert and refuse to take this form of racism in his party seriously."

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