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Barking MP Margaret Hodge accuses Jeremy Corbyn of ‘allowing himself to become the anti-Semites’ poster boy’

PUBLISHED: 17:24 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 27 March 2018

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Barking MP Dame Margaret Hodge has accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of “allowing himself to become the poster boy of anti-Semites everywhere”.

Anti-Semitic Brick Lane mural depicting grotesque imagery by artist 'Meah One' on a wall in Hanbury Street in 2012 before Tower Hamlets Council had it removed. Picture: East London Advertiser Anti-Semitic Brick Lane mural depicting grotesque imagery by artist 'Meah One' on a wall in Hanbury Street in 2012 before Tower Hamlets Council had it removed. Picture: East London Advertiser

“I am deeply offended by what appears to be persistent and pervasive anti-Semitism in and around the Labour Party,” she added in her Facebook post.

“This is not the new politics.”

Mr Corbyn made headlines over the weekend when a Facebook comment he made in 2012 seemingly supporting the artist responsible for an anti-Semitic mural that appeared in Brick Lane was unearthed.

In response to artist Mear One’s claim that his mural was set to be removed, Mr Corbyn’s comment on his post said: “You are in good company- Rockerfeller destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”

The mural was subsequently removed by Tower Hamlets Council.

Jeremy Corbyn yesterday wrote to the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council pledging to be a “militant opponent of antisemitism”.

Dame Margaret, whose parents are Jewish refugees from Austria and Germany, has stated that she does not think the Labour leader is himself anti-Semitic.

However he needs to “clearly disassociate himself from those who continue to preach anti-Semitism”, she said.

She added: “Criticism of the policies of Israel is of course legitimate and no one is denying that—I am a regular critic of the Israeli government’s actions.”

However the criticism should be “far more nuanced than so many people are making it”, she said.

“Just as not every Muslim is a terrorist, not every Jewish person is a Netanyahu-supporting Zionist,” she said.

She has also branded the Chakrabarti Report, which was an investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, was an opportunity to “really tackle the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party but it was a failure”.

The report found that whilst the Labour Party is “not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia or other forms of racism” there is an “occasionally toxic atmosphere”.

Dame Margaret added: “We now have to seriously reconsider holding another inquiry but this time headed by a person - not necessarily themselves Jewish - who the Jewish community can have faith in to take the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party seriously”.

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