Labour’s anti-Semitism row heats up as MP claims leadership has 'hatred of Jews'

Jeremy Corbyn faces another flare-up of the anti-Semitism row which has dogged Labour for weeks. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Accusations of anti-Semitism continue to consume Labour as a senior party figure claimed the leadership has a “hatred of Jews”.

Dame Margaret Hodge made the damning claim as she launched a fresh all-out attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

The former minister, who attends a Jewish Labour Movement conference in London on Sunday with ex-PM Gordon Brown, told the Sunday Times: “All (the leadership) can think about is their internal Labour party and their hatred of Jews.

“Jeremy has allowed anti-Semitism and racism to run rife. He needs to renounce much of what he did.”

Labour MPs are said to be poised to hold another vote of no confidence in Mr Corbyn’s leadership, according to the Sunday Times.

Mr Corbyn brushed aside a 172 to 40 defeat in a similar vote in 2016, insisting his mandate from grassroots members was more important.

In a sign of deepening tension within the party, shadow chancellor John McDonnell admitted he is “worried” about the prospect of a split in Labour ranks.

The comments come in the wake of veteran MP Frank Field resigning the whip after accusing the leadership of presiding over a party which is becoming a “force for anti-Semitism”.

Mr McDonnell told the New Statesman: “Yes, I think there are people who are willing to leave the party.

John McDonnell urged Labour members to stick together Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

“I think I’m saddened by that. I really am saddened and I’m disappointed.”

Referring to concerns over anti-Semitism, Brexit and MPs’ careers, Mr McDonnell said: “If those are the issues that people want to split on, these are all issues which can be dealt with within the party.

“And I don’t see them as fundamental issues that would encourage a split because there are opportunities for people not just to express their views, but actually sometimes to win the argument as well.

“So I don’t understand why there is this sort of pre-emptive move to split off.

“So I’m worried and I’m saddened by that and I think that open door is always there to prevent that happening, because any split is automatically damaging.”

Mr McDonnell added that he wants the anti-Semitism issue in the party resolved “as quickly as possible”.