The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

Labour crisis deepens: Jeremy Corbyn faces investigation for ‘antisemitic’ comments

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The Leader of the Opposition found himself under scrutiny on Thursday after newly uncovered footage was published.

Accusing a group of British Zionists who criticised Palestinian ambassador Manuel Hassassian of having “two problems”, he said: “One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all of their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

The comments have caused outrage, both within his own party and the wider public.

Now, Helen Grant, the Tory vice chairwoman for communities, has written to Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, to demand the Labour leader be investigated.

She wrote: “Mr Corbyn has undoubtedly brought this House and its members into disrepute.

“This country has rightly always demanded more from our parliamentarians.

“It is clear that Mr Corbyn has not reached the bar set by the Code of Conduct for members, and I therefore ask that you investigate.”

Ms Grant argued the comments meant the Labour leader had broken Clause 17 of the MPs’ code of conduct, which refers to when MPs make comments that could “cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its members generally.”

Mr Corbyn has previously criticised those in his party who make antisemitic remarks and has insisted he himself does not hold such views.

The hard-left leader has insisted Labour “does not tolerate antisemitism in any form”.

However, following the revealing of the latest comments, Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, has furiously attacked the Labour leader.

He said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s xenophobic portrayal of ‘Zionists’ as foreign to Britain and recognisable by their ignorance and humourlessness is utterly shameful, even by his low standards.

“It is plain that he is an antisemite, under whose leadership the once antiracist Labour Party has become institutionally antisemitic.”

Mr Corbyn has defended the comments he made at the conference but also admitted he is more careful with his language now.

In a statement last night he said: “I described those pro-Israel activists as Zionists, in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people – and that is made clear in the rest of my speech that day.

“I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by antisemites as code for Jews.”