Hilary Benn - Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
I have been contacted by a number of people about the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and the events of the last few months. Here are my reflections.
I strongly reject the suggestion that Labour is an institutionally racist Party, although the way in which the anti-Semitism issue was handled over the summer was a self-inflicted wound. The fact that it damaged Labour’s relationship with the Jewish community was acknowledged by Jeremy Corbyn when he said “I’m sorry for the hurt that’s been caused to many Jewish people.” We all welcome therefore the Labour Party NEC’s decision to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and all of its examples in full and I hope that this will now help that relationship to heal. There is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism in our society or our politics.
Following Labour’s very successful Conference in Liverpool, our task now is to build on last year’s general election result and reach out to the voters that we still need to persuade to support us next time in order to see Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street leading a majority Labour Government.
I look forward to working to achieve this and the best way to do so is to campaign positively for our radical Manifesto while – as Jeremy said in his powerful Conference speech – respecting Labour’s tradition as a broad church. We are stronger because of this tradition and not weaker.
The Labour Party Conference this week was full of energy, ideas and above all hope. Let’s take our work forward together in that spirit.