Following a meeting between the Opposition Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton, and Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Sir Gerald Kaufman’s comments.
One week after Sir Gerald Kaufman accused British Jews of subverting the government with ‘Jewish money’ so that Israeli Jews could shoot ‘innocent’ people, Jeremy Corbyn has spoken out and the Opposition Chief Whip has expressed ‘deep concern’. That’s positive, but it’s a week late and falls far short of what is warranted. We have been calling for a week for the Labour Party to take formal, firm disciplinary action against Sir Gerald Kaufman. Nothing less will do if Jewish people are to have any faith that the Labour Party’s ‘implacable opposition’ to racism is anything more than a soundbite.
Corbyn’s condemnation comes as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Hudson, told Campaign Against Antisemitism that she would not investigate the matter because Kaufman’s comments did not draw the House of Commons or its members into disrepute. Kaufman is formally known as “Father of the House” because he is the longest serving and oldest MP, and he was speaking on Parliamentary premises to a group which included MPs such as Andy Slaughter, the Shadow Minister for Justice.