Corbyn hits back at Hodge over anti-Semitism claims

Jeremy Corbyn has accused veteran Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge of a “total breach of trust” by recording a private meeting between them without his permission.

The Labour leader also defended the party’s handling of anti-Semitism cases following accusations by Dame Margaret that members of his inner circle interfered to reduce the sanctions that were imposed.

On Tuesday, Dame Margaret claimed that Mr Corbyn had either misled her or been misled himself about the extent of his team’s involvement in such cases.

In a letter to the MP, Mr Corbyn acknowledged that a “very small group of staff” in his office were asked by the party’s governance and legal unit (GLU) to help clear the backlog of cases that had built up.

Labour
Dame Margaret Hodge has been accused of a breach of trust by Jeremy Corbyn (Yui Mok/PA)

He said that in an “act of good faith” his staff had complied but that decisions remained with the GLU and that there had never been any attempt to overrule them.

And he reacted angrily to a suggestion that Dame Margaret had a recording of their meeting last week to discuss the issue, despite an agreement that it would be private.

“I was therefore extremely disappointed to learn on the (BBC Radio 4) Today programme that you have an audio recording of the meeting,” he wrote.

“Neither me nor my staff were informed that you intended to record the meeting, my permission was not sought, nor granted. I consider this to be a total breach of trust and privacy.”

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