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'I have stood side by side with your community to tackle antisemitism', says Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has described how he has “stood side-by-side” the Jewish community to combat antisemitism.

The Labour leader said there had been an “alarming rise” in Jew-hatred and that his party was “implacably opposed” to antisemitism in any form.

Mr Corbyn said Labour was “taking forward the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into racism and antisemitism”.

Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, Mr Corbyn addressed an event marking the UN’s international day for the elimination of racial discrimination, which is due to take place on Wednesday.

Mr Corbyn outlined his party’s anti-racism credentials, saying: “Labour is a party built on the values of social justice, equality, internationalism and human rights. That is why I have devoted my life to it.

“Theresa May will tell you she wants a society that works for everyone. But friends, I and many others in the Labour party haven’t just talked the talk; we have walked the walk as well.

“I have stood side by side with your communities, to campaign against apartheid in South Africa, against increasing Islamophobia in this county against racism and against antisemitism.”

The speech was largely aimed at black and Asian supporters, and touched on issues relating to the NHS, business and Brexit.

In a thinly-veiled reference to last week’s European Union court decision that companies can ban employees from wearing religious symbols, Mr Corbyn said: “We must not allow people’s freedoms to be curbed and must at all times promote religious acceptance.

“In this country we have a tradition of acceptance and I am sure many of us will want to maintain that tradition – including opposing any discriminatory bans of religious symbols, whether these be crucifixes, turbans, kippahs or niqabs or any other form of dress.”

The Labour leader said he was not taking the support of ethnic minority communities “for granted”, adding that he wanted people to also “organise, campaign and lead for Labour in your communities and within the party”.

The speech came days after Mr Corbyn hosted a reception for journalists from minority communities at which he praised the efforts of Jewish newspapers after the Second World War.

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