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Margaret Hodge now says Labour adopting IHRA definition will ‘not be enough’ to solve antisemitism row

The Labour MP at the centre of Labour’s ongoing antisemitism debate has sparked a significant backlash after claiming that even if the party does adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in full – as is widely expected – it would now not be enough to solve the seemingly never-ending row over antisemitism within the party, as she had previously indicated.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who infamously screamed in Jeremy Corbyn’s face by accusing him of being a ‘racist and an antisemite‘, made the highly controversial comments whilst speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) Conference yesterday.

Hodges’ comments have unsurprisingly fuelled speculation that the ongoing antisemitism row is being used by some in order to try and oust Jeremy Corbyn over political differences, rather than in an attempt to stamp out antisemitism among a small minority of members within the party.

Speaking at the JLM event, Hodge declared that whatever happened she would “stand and fight” within the party, before going on to declare that even if the party does adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, it now – contrary to previous statements – would not be enough to solve the current row:

“It might have been enough three months ago, it might have just enabled us all to start talking to each other and bring trust again, but I think that moment has passed,”

The Barking MP also went on to imply that it was the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and not antisemitism, that was the problem, stating:

“The problem is that he [Jeremy Corbyn] is the problem,

The party is bigger than Corbyn. Our party has been around for over 100 years, Corbyn has only been there for three – three damaging years.”

Unsurprisingly, Hodges’ latest deviation from her previous demand has sparked significant anger amongst pro-Corbyn Labour supporters:

According to Robert Peston, Labour’s ruling body, the NEC, is on the verge of adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism in full, and with all of its examples, on September 4th.

The adoption of the widely-criticised working definition was a key demand from the Jewish community to heal the wounds of Labour’s ongoing row surrounding antisemitism, with the Jewish Board of Deputies listing it as a key demand in an official letter to the party:

The current antisemitism row also took a significant twist today after the historically anti-Corbyn Labour Peer, Lord Adonis, slammed the former Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, as a ‘voice for extremism’ over his controversial comments which compared Jeremy Corbyn to the notoriously racist former Tory MP, Enoch Powell.

Should Labour push the adoption of the definition through on Tuesday as expected, it will be extremely interesting to see whether or not the constant attacks on Jeremy Corbyn over supposed ‘widespread’ antisemitism within the part will halt.

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