Corbyn: Anti-Semitism in Labour has been 'ignored or mislaid'

In a first, Labour UK chief Jeremy Corbyn admits failures in party's handling complaints regarding anti-Semitism.

Sara Rubenstein ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images via JTA

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn privately admitted that evidence of anti-Semitism in his party was "mislaid, ignored or not used," according to the UK's Sunday Times, which published a leaked recording on Sunday.

Corbyn was secretly recorded by Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge while discussing the party's anti-Semitism crisis with him in February. Hodge told the BBC that she recorded the conversation as an "insurance policy." The Jewish politician, who has served as an MP for 25 years, has been extremely critical of Corbyn's attitude toward anti-Semitism.

Corbyn said during the meeting that he plans on appointing former cabinet minister Lord Falconer to reviews the party's method of dealing with complaints.

"The point of him [Falconer] is that he will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them and the collation of the evidence before it is put before appropriate panels and things," Corbyn said to Hodge. "Because I was concerned that evidence was either being mislaid, ignored or not used and that there had to be some better system.”

According to the Times, this is the first time that Corbyn has admitted any weaknesses in Labour's method of handling complaints of anti-Semitism.

A Labour spokesperson said the recording shows Corbyn's willingness to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism in a more efficient manner. “This shows Jeremy Corbyn's desire to make procedures as robust and efficient as possible and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community. The Labour Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”

The report comes a week after the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) passed a vote of no confidence in Corbyn over Labour's failure to address anti-Semitic complaints under his leadership.

During the meeting, Corbyn said that he also has suffered from threats, the Times reported. "You see, I get a huge amount of abusive stuff, mostly, some of it’s quite threatening, you know, murder and stuff," Corbyn said.