On Wednesday, the leadership hopefuls will be holding a hustings in front of the Jewish Labour Movement, where they will be subjected to a stern examination over their credentials to deal with anti-Semitism within the party ranks. Appearing on BBC Newsnight on Tuesday with the other three leadership candidates, Ms Long Bailey called on her colleagues to commit to taking swift action to the put the issue to bed. She said: “We can never stop apologising for not attacking this issue robustly in the way that we should have done.
“That’s why I hope all leadership candidates will take forward a robust programme of action very swiftly and that includes adopting any recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).”
Last May the EHRC opened an official investigation into anti- Semitism within the Labour Party, following legal complaints made by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) and the Jewish Labour Movement.
Both organisations argued that the party was not compliant with equalities law.
The Shadow Business Secretary insisted that Labour was an anti-racist party and must tackle not only anti-Semitism but all other forms of racial discrimination.
She explained: “It means developing an independent process to deal with ant-Semitism and wider discriminatory issues within the party.
“We are an anti-racist party and we have to have the gold standard and we have to recognise that over the last few years we have not tackled this issue adequately.”
However, Ms Long Bailey’s words failed to convince sceptical Labour voters, who took to Twitter to voice their doubts.
One wrote: “Corbyn really has destroyed Labour.
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But there were still those who refused to believe that Labour had any problem with ant-Semitism.
One Labour supporter commented: “The issue was more than adequately dealt with.
“The ‘crisis’ amounts to a tiny fraction of a percent of Labour’s mass membership.
“Why does nobody mention this?”
While another said: “Islamophobia is a much bigger problem otherwise you wouldn’t have British born men & women wanting to commit Jihad because they feel they are being persecuted throughout the world.”
The Labour Party has been embroiled in a growing scandal over anti-Semitism ever since Mr Corbyn was elected leader in 2015.