JOHN McDONNELL yesterday insisted that Labour was doing ‘everything we can’ to tackle anti-Semitism among party members.
The shadow chancellor admitted he was ‘saddened’ as he was shown the front pages of Jewish newspapers attacking leader Jeremy Corbyn, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
The Jewish Chronicle led with: ‘Vote to stop Corbyn, urges rabbi.’ And the Jewish News had a mock-up of Mr Corbyn in front of No.10, with the message: ‘The nightmare before Chanukah?’
The JC reported rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, had told his congregation: ‘A Corbyn-led government would pose a danger to Jewish life as we know it.’
Mr McDonnell said: ‘I’m so saddened by this. I just want to reassure them that we’re doing everything we can.Everything I said we would do we are doing in terms of eradicating anti-Semitism from the party.’
During the interview, Mr McDonnell expressed optimism over Labour’s chances in the election, despite polls putting them far behind the Tories.
Asked if it felt like a winning campaign, he said: ‘It does, actually. I think the polls are coming our way. We know how far we are behind in the polls, not as far as in 2017.’
Conservative sources complained of ‘underarm bowling’ by Mr Marr, saying he did not ask Mr McDonnell about Labour’s ‘convoluted’ stance on Brexit. The Beeb said the main parties were often asked about Brexit on the show.