Eradicating anti-Semitism part of Labour’s ‘mission’, John McDonnell insists

Labour in the past may not have been “good enough” at educating its members on anti-Semitism, John McDonnell said.

The shadow chancellor said a new education programme was being developed by the party’s general secretary Jenny Formby.

This will “ensure that everybody now is educated around the issues of anti-Semitism in a way maybe we haven’t been good enough in the past,” he said.

“And that will enable us to go out there and tackle anti-Semitism in wider society.”

Working to eradicate the problem is part of Labour’s “mission”, the shadow chancellor said, as he insisted the party was not anti-Semitic.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Scottish Labour conference in Dundee, Mr McDonnell stated: “I don’t care how small it is, if there is one anti-Semite that’s not good enough.

“If we find there is evidence of that or racism in any form in our party, we will ruthlessly root it out.

“We are not institutionally anti-Semitic, we are not institutionally racist. We have prided ourselves on being a leading anti-racist force in our society and that is what we will always be.”

He continued: “I do not want to live in a society where Jewish graves are scrawled with Nazi symbols, or where Jewish schools have to have special protection because of threats.

“We as a party will help eradicate that from our society because that is the mission we play in life.”