Chakrabarti dismantled: Labour chief torn apart as party members shun Jeremy Corbyn


SHAMI CHAKRABARTI faced an intense grilling on Labour’s policy to address anti-Semitism claims within the party after two MPs admitted they could not endorse Jeremy Corbyn due to the ongoing row.

Shami Chakrabarti was challenged on the new policies the Labour Party has adopted to tackle reports of anti-Semitism among its members after long-standing member and former Labour minister Ian Austin urged voters to back the Conservatives in the upcoming election. The shadow Attorney-General personally led an inquiry in 2016 and concluded there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” in relation to antisemitic allegations. BBC Today programme host Martha Kearney challenged Mrs Chakrabarti over the apparent lack of response to claims of anti-Semitism: “You yourself carried out a report into this a number of years ago. It’s a current issue.

“Has that cause irreparable damage?

“If you look at the front page of the Jewish Chronicle, the main newspaper for the Jewish community, they quote an opinion poll saying that the vast majority of British Jews consider Jeremy Corbyn to be an antisemite.”

Earlier in the programme, veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge struggled to confirm she would endorse Jeremy Corbyn at the December 12 general election despite recently having been reconfirmed as Labour’s candidate for Barking.

Dame Margaret emerged as one of the most vocal critics of her party leadership’s response to allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour. 

Ms Chakrabarti admitted she was disappointed Dame Margaret could not confirm she would back Mr Corbyn but insisted Labour “seriously improved” its policies over the past few years.

She said: “In all honesty, I think that in recent times we have seriously improved our processes in a way that took too long to do. There’s no doubt about it.

“Two years after my report wasn’t implemented, it’s only in more recent times that we’ve increased capacity to do discipline and speed up procedures.”

The shadow Attorney-General continued: “That obviously is incredibly alarming and disappointing. What I’ll say is this.

“Because we dragged our feet on implementation for so long, there’s a trust gap and so even though I believe our procedures are way better now than they were a few years ago, it’s going to take time to rebuild trust.

“It’s going to take more than procedures and we really got to give the community time and also demonstrate over a period of time how serious we are about tackling this issue in society as a whole.”

Dame Margaret was the second Labour MP in 24 hours to cast doubt on the Labour leadership after former minister Ian Austin urged “decent, patriotic” Britons not to back Jeremy Corbyn on December 12 due to the allegedly negative impact the leader has had on the party.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Austin said: “The Labour Party has been my life and until this year, I have only ever voted Labour.

“But it has really come to something when someone like me says traditional decent patriotic Labour voters should vote for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party this time.”

The former Labour minister added: “It is too big a risk. That is why I think we should lend the Tories our votes at this election and stop Jeremy Corbyn getting anywhere near Downing Street.”

Mr Austin said Tom Watson, who quit on Wednesday as deputy Labour leader and MP, was “appalled” by the “scandal of anti-Semitism” that had grown in the party.

He continued: “If Tom thought that Jeremy Corbyn was fit to lead our country and fit to form a Government, then he would have been in that Cabinet. Would he really be standing down?

“Anybody who has spoken to Tom knows what he thinks about Jeremy Corbyn.

“More importantly, they know how appalled he is, like so many other people, by the scandal of anti-Semitism that has poisoned the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”


About Author

Leave A Reply