Public figures say they will not vote Labour under Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images).
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party (Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty Images).

A NUMBER of public figures have announced their decision to not vote Labour in the general election because of its association with antisemitism.

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of the Tell Mama group fighting Islamophobia, Maajid Nawaz, the broadcaster and founding chair of the Quilliam anti-extremist thinktank, Trevor Phillips, a former Labour politician and ex-chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and authors John Le Carré and William Boyd are among those who said they could not vote Labour.

In a letter to the Guardian, the 24 signatories said: “The coming election is momentous for every voter, but for British Jews it contains a particular anguish: the prospect of a prime minister steeped in association with antisemitism.

“Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the EHRC for institutional racism against Jews. Two Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. Mr Corbyn has a long record of embracing antisemites as comrades.

“We listen to our Jewish friends and see how their pain has been relegated as an issue, pushed aside by arguments about Britain’s European future. For those who insist that Labour are the only alternative to Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit, now, it seems, is not the time for Jewish anxiety.

“But antisemitism is central to a wider debate about the kind of country we want to be. To ignore it because Brexit looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government. Which other community’s concerns are disposable in this way? Who would be next?”

They added: “We endorse no party. However, we cannot in all conscience urge others to support a political party we ourselves will not. We refuse to vote Labour on 12 December.”

In May, the EHRC began its formal investigation into antisemitism in Labour. It sought to find out whether the party has unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they belonged to Jewish faith.

On Thursday, Lib Dem candidate Luciana Berger urged the equalities watchdog to publish its report, saying voters deserved to know what they were voting for.