Jeremy Corbyn finally says he's 'very sorry' over anti-Semitism within Labour

3 December 2019, 12:26

By Asher McShane

Jeremy Corbyn has finally offered an apology after being criticised over his silence over accusations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.

He faced mounting criticism for his failure to personally apologise. The Labour leader was under fire after he refused four times to say sorry during an interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil last week.

But today Mr Corbyn did offer an apology today. Speaking on ITV's This Morning, he said: "Our party and me do not accept anti-Semitism in any form... obviously I'm very sorry for everything that has happened.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he is 'sorry' over anti-Semitism
Jeremy Corbyn has said he is 'sorry' over anti-Semitism. Picture: PA

"But I want to make this very clear: I am dealing with it, I have dealt with it, other parties are also affected by anti-Semitism.

"Candidates have been withdrawn by the Liberal Democrats, and the Conservatives and by us because of it. We just do not accept it in any form whatsoever."

It follows intense criticism from within the Labour ranks after Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said a "poison" - "sanctioned from the top" - had taken root in the party, and suggested Mr Corbyn was unfit to be prime minister.

Mr Corbyn also suggested in the interview that he would want to stay on as Labour leader even if he fails to take his party to victory in the General Election.

Asked whether he would remain as leader at the end of the next parliamentary term even if he fails to win a majority, he said: "I hope so, yes, because I feel I'm fit, I feel I'm quite young enough to do the job... and I'm very determined to carry out what we've got there."

Later today Mr Corbyn is due to tell Donald Trump that US companies must not meddle with the NHS - but only if they cross paths at a Buckingham Palace reception later.

He said he would make his demands clear if they met when asked in an interview after a speech on workers' rights outside SOAS University of London.

"That obviously we want a good relationship with the USA but the trade talks that have been undertaken by the Government have been done in secret and we do not accept any idea of US companies coming in to run our NHS or the idea of extending the patents of medicine that will increase the costs for our NHS," he said.

In an earlier speech alongside cleaning staff and students at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Mr Corbyn said he was aware of the president's presence in the capital because he witnessed the motorcade pass his home.

"Donald Trump has arrived in Britain, I saw it because his convoy went past my house last night, so I know he's here," the Labour leader said.

He said visitors should be treated with "respect and politeness", but that he would "very gently, quite simply, but extremely firmly" say Labour would not put the NHS "up for sale".