Corbyn defends his stance on tackling anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn answers questions posed by MPs during the committee hearing.

Jeremy Corbyn has appeared in front of a Home Affairs committee looking at the rise of anti-Semitism.

Committee chair, Labour MP Keith Vaz, began by saying that Mr Corbyn has been commended for his work on diversity and racism but had faced criticism for the way in which he has handled the issue of anti-Semitism within the party.

Mr Corbyn said that since he had become leader some alleged anti-Semitic incidents concerning Labour colleagues had arisen.

He added that around twenty people had been suspended all of which are "part of a due process" and in response he had asked former head of rights group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, to undertake an inquiry.

The Labour leader appears in front of the cross-party committee.

When asked if he had personally come across any such incidents Mr Corbyn said a "long time ago, they were sometimes anti-Semitic remarks made" when he first joined Labour.

He added: "But in the past years or so, no, and in my own constituency, not under any circumstances.

Mr Corbyn said he "was alarmed" by the recent incidents that had emerged and "that's why I thought it was the best thing to set up an inquiry".

Corbyn declines to classify Livingstone Israel comments 'racist'

When the issue of his friend and colleague Ken Livingstone's suspension from the Labour Party for his controversial comments linking Hitler and Zionism, was raised, Mr Corbyn acknowledged that his comments were "unacceptable".

Ken Livingstone has been suspended by the Labour Party. Credit: PA

However when asked if the former London mayor's comments should be regarded as racist, Mr Corbyn declined to categorise them as such.

"Ken Livingstone's remarks are being investigated, the Party will investigate them and will come to a decision on it," Mr Corbyn said.

Corbyn challenged over links with people with 'unsanitary' views

Conservative MP Victoria Atkins challenged Mr Corbyn about his association with people that have made controversial comments.

She said: "It seems to me, very unfortunate that you appear to have so much contact with people who have unpleasant views about Israel and Jewish people."

Tory MP Victoria Atkins said Mr Corbyn has 'an unfortunate habit' of talking to people with 'unsanitary' views.

When asked if he accepts that, Mr Corbyn replied: "No, I wouldn't accept that, adding: "I know a large number of people in many anti-racism organisations, many human rights organisations, I've spent my whole life on these issues."

Corbyn clarifys Israel and Islamic State remarks

Mr Corbyn was also questioned about comments he made when he appeared to compare Israel with so-called Islamic State.

He sought to clarify the comment saying he used the words "Islamic states not State.

"I made the comparison that Jewish people should no more be expected to be knowledgeable or defensive or critical of the state of Israel anymore than Muslim people should be expected to have an equivalence of knowledge of any Muslim state."

Corbyn regrets Hamas and Hezbollah "friends" comments

The Labour leader also said he regrets calling Hamas and Hezbollah "friends" saying with hindsight he wished he had not, as ITV News political correspondent Carl Dinnen reports:

Corbyn on Momentum party: