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May accuses Corbyn of letting antisemitism ‘run rife’

The PM said it is important for political parties to show a very clear signal that we will not tolerate antisemitism in any form

    (Photo: Getty Images)

    Theresa May has accused Jeremy Corbyn of allowing antisemitism to "run rife in his party" and praised the "powerful contributions" made to the Commons debate on antisemitism by MPs Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth.

    Clashing during Prime Minister's Questions, Mrs May was accused of running a “callous and incompetent" government by the Labour leader over the issue of immigration problems suffered by Windrush generation British citizens.

    But Mrs May hit back, telling the Labour leader: "I will not take an accusation of callous from a man who allows antisemitism to run rife in his party."

    But her attempt to link the antisemitism and Windrush scandals was criticised by some figures within the Jewish community.

    One said: “It isn't helpful to advance the conversation on antisemitism in Labour, and pretty sure it offers no solace to affected Windrush families.”

    Mrs May later in the session praised both Labour MPs Ms Berger and Ms Smeeth “who have suffered incredible abuse as a result of this antisemitism, but who also have shown incredible bravery in being willing to stand up and set that out to this House".

    Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith also referred to Tuesday’s debate as he asked Mrs May whether she agreed that "not only should every political party have absolutely no place for anybody who is an antisemite, but also, just as importantly, should kick out of the party any apologists for antisemites as well”.

    The Prime Minister replied: "It is incredibly important for political parties in this country to show a very clear signal that we will not accept, we will not tolerate antisemitism in any form."

    Chef Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis issued a statement on Twitter praising the “courage” of the speakers in the Commons antisemitism debate.

    He wrote: “I was so moved by the eloquence and courage of speakers in yesterday’s unprecedented debate on antisemitism in Parliament, introduced by @sajidjavid.

    “I am deeply dismayed that it was necessary but heartened by the number of MPs who passionately declared.”

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