The chair of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour group has used an appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme to claim: “None of us in my group has ever experienced any antisemitism within the Labour Party.”
In an interview this morning ahead of Mr Corbyn’s meeting with the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council, Jenny Manson said evidence of the “very worst” antisemitism “has always been” on the far-right.
Asked about Dame Margaret Hodge’s comments suggesting she had never known antisemitism in Labour to be as bad it was now, Ms Manson said the party veteran would have been better advised to “go to the Labour Party rather than complain to the media about it”.
Dismissing claims that antisemitism was rife within the party, Ms Manson said: “In my area I talk to other Jewish people in my acquaintance and that’s the general consensus.
“What we are saying is it is a misery and a tragedy that Margaret Hodge and other Labour MPs have received nasty antisemtisc comments.
“I suspect most of these have been on social media and I suspect nobody has actually worked hard to find out who this nasty stuff is coming from.
“If they do I think it’s much better to go to the Labour Party than to complain to the media about it.”
Discussing Mr Corbyn’s attempts to deal with the issue, Ms Manson added: “What we can’t have is a witchhunt. What the Board of Deputies and the JLC seem to be demanding far too often… is that people should be expelled from the Labour Party without due process.”
Ms Manson also referred to a survey conducted by the Campaign Against Antisemitism group saying: “Evidence including very recent evidence commissioned by a Jewish body suggests the very worst antisemitism is still on the right, on the far right and always has been.”