Starmer pledges to lead the fight against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed personally to take charge of the fight to stamp out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party if he wins the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The shadow Brexit secretary, who is launching his leadership campaign in Manchester, said the party had not done enough to tackle the issue which bedevilled it under Mr Corbyn.

“We should have done more on anti-Semitism. If you are anti-Semitic you shouldn’t be in the Labour Party,” he told BBC1’s Breakfast programme.

“What I would do is lead from the top and say it’s my responsibility to deal with it. I wouldn’t say it’s for somebody else. I want the files, I want to know the numbers on my desk so that I can monitor this.

“Only when people who have left our party because of anti-Semitism feel that they can return will I be truly satisfied that we have dealt with the problem.

“But there has to be leadership from the top and a personal involvement in this. I never want our activists, our members, our supporters, ever to knock on a door again and to be met with the response: ‘I usually vote Labour but I’m not going to do so because of anti-Semitism.'”

Sir Keir said that he had argued within the party for tougher action, with automatic expulsion for anyone found to be anti-Semitic.

“It seemed to me that if you have been chucked out of the Labour Party for supporting another political party, you should be chucked out for being anti-Semitic. I had those conversations around the shadow cabinet table.”