Barry Gardiner addresses why Jeremy Corbyn refused to apologise for anti-Semitism
1 December 2019, 13:24
Barry Gardiner addressed Jeremy Corbyn's interview where he refused to apologise for Labour's failure to tackle anti-Semitism.
The caller asked why Jeremy Corbyn can't apologise to the Jewish people, referencing last week's Andrew Neil interview where he refused to apologise on four separate opportunities.
The caller warned that "you are going to lose voters like myself".
Gardiner replied: "I hope we don't lose you, that's the first thing I want to say."
He also said: "I do want to make it clear he has apologised. He put out a video in which he said how sorry he was for the deep hurt that have been caused to the Jewish community by the party's failure to tackle this much quick."
Iain Dale wanted to know why he didn't apologise in the Andrew Neil interview, however.
Gardiner said: "Look, I, I can't tell you why he didn't apologise on that occasion.
"What I do see him trying to do there is trying to explain that we have taken steps to improve the situation, really important steps, and that's what he was trying to get across.
"By doubling the number of lawyers who deal with these cases, by speeding up the number of cases four-fold, by making sure that these expansions happen.
When he became the leader of the party, there was no system for dealing with it. He's put a system in place."
Iain said there wasn't a problem before he was a leader.
Gardiner disputed this. He claimed that half of all the outstanding cases in 2016 predated Jeremy being a member of the party.
He also took issue with the idea that anti-Semitism is an issue on the left of politics.
He said: "Reports have shown and studies have shown that it is a greater problem on the right of society and, actually, they've also done an analysis of Conservative voters versus Labour voters where anti-Semitism is more prevalent amongst Conservative voters than Labour voters."
Iain Dale contested this and argued that Jews might still not feel like Corbyn is on their side.
Gardiner said that he's made it clear that the party want education programmes in schools about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.