Rabbi Neuberger: "The Tories need to sort out their position on Islamophobia"

26 November 2019, 14:38

Shelagh Fogarty spoke to Baroness Julia Neuberger, a crossbench peer and senior rabbi, about the Chief Rabbi's criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn today.

In the conversation, Neuberger shared her support for the Chief Rabbi's comments.

She said that Jeremy Corbyn has "failed to root out anti-Semitism within his party".

They discussed the EHRC investigation into Labour - and that 30 whistleblowers are due to give evidence of anti-Semitism to them.

Neuberger also said that "there's a fair bit of intent" behind the alleged anti-Semitism in the party.

She also told Shelagh Fogarty: "I would say that all forms of racism are reprehensible. I think that the Tories need to sort out their position on Islamophobia but, nevertheless, you haven't seen Sajid Javid being hounded out of his party in this way that Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman have been.

"Of course, all forms of racism are reprehensible but the truth of the matter is, this is a moral test of the nation.

"Do we tolerate this kind of racism? Or do we not?

And I ought to say, as well, one of the things that has given comfort through all of this with the Jewish community is the extensive support we've had from the Muslim community who obviously feel very worried for themselves too."

Rabbi Neuberger: "The Tories need to sort out their position on Islamophobia"
Rabbi Neuberger: "The Tories need to sort out their position on Islamophobia". Picture: PA

Shelagh Fogarty pointed out that the Muslim Council of Britain put out a statement urging people to consider what the Conservative Party has done about Islamophobia.

She said: "Now, it may not have amounted to members leaving the party in the way that the two women MPs, former MP that you mention, felt they had to.

But is it just about party members? It is a position a party takes about the position itself inherently?"

Neuberger responded: "I think that there is everything to criticise about attitudes to Islamophobia in the Conservative Party and, actually, much more widely than the Conservative Party.

"But I think the Labour leadership is particularly to be criticised for not actually clamping down on all of this. Not dealing with it.

I think that that's really shameful and that is a test, if you like, not only of the party but to some extent of the nation. Are we going to put up with that? We're not."