Labour's anti-Semitism conference went about as badly as it could have done


The Labour party was plagued by more accusations of anti-Semitism today - at their own anti-Semitism conference.

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth stormed out of the conference after being accused of colluding with the right-wing press by one of Jeremy Corbyn's grassroots supporters.

Marc Wadsworth, who runs Momentum Black Connexions, claimed that Smeeth, who is Jewish, was "working hand in hand" with The Daily Telegraph.

In a statement, Smeeth said Jeremy Corbyn "stood by and did absolutely nothing", and called for his immediate resignation.

Ruth Smeeth
Ruth Smeeth (Richard Maude/PA)

She said: "I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a 'media conspiracy'.

"Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy's ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.

"No-one from the Leader's office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country."

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Labour's anti-Semitism inquiry findings at Savoy Place, London.
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

The conference unveiled a review on anti-Semitism in the party. Carried out by Shami Chakrabarti, it found the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism".

But Corbyn was also accused of comparing the state of Israel to Islamic State, after saying that Jews should not be held responsible for Israel just as Muslims are not held responsible for IS.

The row overshadowed the launch, which was sparked by former London mayor Ken Livingstone's controversial comments about Jews.

Corbyn, meanwhile, who is under intense pressure to fall on his sword, refused to answer questions about his leadership.