Bishop of Oxford “disturbed” by the climate of anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party

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The Bishop of Oxford has said that he was “disturbed” by the antisemitism that was allowed to grow in the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft made his admission days before a commemorative event held at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, during which the Church of England offered an apology to the British Jewish community eight centuries after Jews were expelled from England.

Sunday 8th May was the 800th anniversary of the 1222 Synod of Oxford, known as the “Magna Carta” of English canon law – the system of laws enforced by the church hierarchy to regulate its organisation – which put antisemitic doctrines in place, forbidding social interactions between Jews and Christians, taxing the Jews, and making them wear a badge to identify them.

The Bishop took the opportunity of the church’s apology to voice his concerns about the climate of antisemitism during Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as Labour leader, the other causes of which are the “general kind of fragmentation” of British society and Brexit.

The Right Rev Dr Croft said: “Three or four years ago, I was really disturbed by how deeply Jewish friends and the Jewish community in Oxford were affected by the antisemitism that was growing in society as part of the climate that was around.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has lodged a complaint against Jeremy Corbyn, holding him responsible for conduct that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the Labour Party, as the Leader during the period of the EHRC’s shameful findings. Given the serious detriment that this conduct has caused, we are seeking Mr Corbyn’s immediate resuspension and, if the complaint is upheld, we will be requesting his expulsion. On the day of the publication of the EHRC’s report, we also submitted a major complaint against Mr Corbyn and other sitting MPs. These complaints are yet to be acknowledged by the Party, and they must be investigated by an independent disciplinary process that the EHRC has demanded and Sir Keir has promised but has yet to introduce.

The Labour Party was found by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2021 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.

Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.