Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for what he called “pockets of antisemitism” in his party, after Jewish leaders called for a solidarity protest outside parliament on Monday evening to warn the Labour leadership that “enough is enough”.
The Labour leader was responding to the latest row over the issue, which broke out after he was condemned for apparently showing support for the creator of an antisemitic mural in London’s East End six years ago.
In a statement on Sunday night, Corbyn said he was “sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused” by what he called “pockets of antisemitism”.
“Our party has deep roots in the Jewish community and is actively engaged with Jewish organisations across the country,” Corbyn said. “We are campaigning to increase support and confidence in Labour among Jewish people in the UK”.
However the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council remain unconvinced and have issued what they described as a “call to action” on Sunday, announcing they would be delivering a letter to the parliamentary Labour party before its regular weekly meeting on Monday.
“Day in, day out, we the Jewish community face increasing antisemitism. Enough is enough,” they said, calling on “members of our community and all those who oppose antisemitism” to gather in Parliament Square as Labour MPs meet.
Several Labour MPs have said they would like to hear an explanation from Corbyn directly, after Facebook posts emerged in which he appeared to show his support for an antisemitic mural in 2012.
But it is unclear whether he will appear in person at the PLP’s regular Monday evening meeting, the last before parliament rises for Easter recess.