Leading authors and actors won't vote for Labour over anti-Semitism

15 November 2019, 05:32

High profile media figures have hit out at Jeremy Corbyn
High profile media figures have hit out at Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Nick Hewer and Tony Parsons are among 24 public figures who have said supporting Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister would be to surrender in the fight against anti-Semitism.

In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, the group said the path to a more tolerant society "must encompass Britain's Jews with unwavering solidarity" and said Jeremy Corbyn has "a long record of embracing anti-Semites as comrades".

The letter was penned by many high profile media personalities including the author John le Carré and actress Joanna Lumley.

They wrote: "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 anti-Semitism.

"Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism against Jews.

"Two Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. Mr Corbyn has a long record of embracing anti-Semites 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 is the only alternative to Boris Johnson's hard Brexit, now, it seems, is not the time for Jewish anxiety.

Apprentice star Nick Hewer was one of those who signed the letter
Apprentice star Nick Hewer was one of those who signed the letter. Picture: PA

"But anti-Semitism 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?

"Opposition to racism cannot include surrender in the fight against anti-Semitism. Yet that is what it would mean to back Labour and endorse Mr Corbyn for Downing Street.

"The path to a more tolerant society must encompass Britain's Jews with unwavering solidarity. 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 December 12."

Joanna Lumley also signed the letter
Joanna Lumley also signed the letter. Picture: PA

The full list of signatories: John le Carré (David Cornwell), Fay Weldon, Joanna Lumley, William Boyd, Simon Callow, Antony Beevor, Sathnam Sanghera, Janina Ramirez, Trevor Phillips, Jimmy Wales, Suzannah Lipscomb, Tom Holland, Frederick Forsyth, Peter Frankopan, Ghanem Nuseibeh, Dan Snow, Fiyaz Mughal, Tony Parsons, Dan Jones, Maajid Nawaz, Oz Katerji, Nick Hewer, Ed Husain, Terry Jervis

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