Labour's new hate definition 'an honest attempt' to eradicate antisemitism, Jeremy Corbyn says

NEC's recent decision will allow 'legitimate debate', he says


Jeremy Corbyn has defended Labour’s new antisemitism code as an honest attempt to eradicate anti-Jewish conduct while allowing “legitimate debate” on Israel and Palestine.

The Labour leader claimed his party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had accepted “almost all” of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Speaking at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said: “What's been done is an honest attempt to make sure that we do make it clear we will not tolerate antisemitism in any form and we will allow legitimate debate on issues facing Israel and Palestine, but it cannot ever be conducted in any antisemitic form.”

He also claimed the party was not trying to rewrite a new code of its own on antisemitism.

Mr Corbyn said: “(The NEC) wasn't trying to re-write it, it has accepted almost all of it.

“What it's done is also put alongside it a code of conduct for members of the party because we will not tolerate antisemitism in any form whatsoever in the party.

“What we also agreed to do at the National Executive Committee is that we would have a consultation process now with a number of organisations.”

The Labour leader also called for a delay to a meeting planned in parliament this Monday where party MPs are planning to discuss requiring the NEC to hold a vote on accepting the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

“I'd rather they delayed that discussion until September because there will be a full attendance at meetings in September,” Mr Corbyn said on Sunday.

Mr Corbyn also revealed he had not spoken to Barking MP Margaret Hodge since she confronted him over the issue.

He added: “A complaint has been registered and that will have to be dealt with by the party, but that is independent of me.”

Speaking for the first time about clash Mr Corbyn said: "I felt upset about it but I'm, as always, very calm and I always treat people with a great deal of respect.

"I don't shout at people, I just listen to what they have to say.“

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