Jeremy Corbyn braced for new showdown over Labour's record on antisemitism cases

4 February 2019, 16:35 | Updated: 4 February 2019, 21:26

Jeremy Corbyn is facing pressure to ensure antisemitism complaints against Labour members are dealt with more quickly, as MPs prepare to vote on a motion criticising the party.

Two of his backbenchers - Catherine McKinnell and Ruth Smeeth - are spearheading the statement which expresses "concern" at the "backlog" of complaints still not resolved.

They say that, despite Mr Corbyn's promise to "redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end" last May, not enough has been done to deal with members accused of discrimination against Jewish people.

They are also "very concerned" by reports that "a number of cases of alleged antisemitic activity from high-profile members have been dropped".

Mr Corbyn is called on to act more "adequately" and warned that a failure to do so might lead to Labour appearing institutionally antisemitic.

MPs will vote on the motion from 6pm this evening at the weekly showdown of Labour's representatives in the House of Commons.

Labour did not respond to a request to comment.

Mr Corbyn was embroiled in a furious row with his colleagues last year over complaints of antisemitism against party members.

He came under fire for criticising the removal of a mural showing Jewish financiers and white businessmen playing a Monopoly-style game on a board balanced on the backs of people.

An ally of his, Peter Willsman, was also caught on tape claiming Jewish "Trump fanatics" were behind the claims.

And three UK Jewish newspapers declared simultaneously on their front pages that a Corbyn government would be a threat to Jewish life.

The row culminated in senior MP Frank Field resigning the Labour whip to sit as an independent in parliament.

Mr Corbyn released a statement after a protest in Westminster organised by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews called "enough is enough".

He said he recognised antisemitism "has surfaced within the Labour Party, and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples".

He added: "This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our Party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain.

"I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused, and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end."