Hundreds of anti-Semitism protesters gather to tell Jeremy Corbyn ‘enough is enough’

Less than an hour after Mr Corbyn offered a written apology to Jewish leaders, several hundred gathered in Parliament Square in an unprecedented demonstration against anti-Semitism within Labour.

In a letter, Mr Corbyn told the leaders of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who organised the protest, he is “sincerely sorry”.

The Labour leader said he recognised anti-Semitism “has surfaced within the Labour Party, and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples”.

He said: “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.”

Repeating an offer of an urgent meeting with Jewish community leaders, Mr Corbyn also apologised for not having studied “more closely” the anti-Semitic imagery used in an east London mural, which he voiced objection to the removal of.

The Labour leader vowed he will “never be anything other than a militant opponent of anti-Semitism”.

Mr Corbyn’s letter was prompted by a strongly-worded statement issued by both the Board of Deputies and JLC, in which they claimed the Labour leader has repeatedly “sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews”.

JLC chairman Jonathan Goldstein also told the Labour leader he is the “figurehead of an anti-Semitic political culture” and there are “no safe spaces” for British Jews within Labour.

Speaking at the protest outside Parliament later, Mr Goldstein was cheered as he told the crowd: “Anti-Semitism has no place whatsoever in a mainstream political party. It’s a scourge on our society, it must be rooted out.

“So we are here to say to Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Enough is enough. The time for talking is over, the time for words is over, and the time for action has begun’.”

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, expressed his hope he would never have to repeat Monday evening’s “extraordinary event”, but told those gathered he was “moved” by the number of attendees.

Labour MPs Wes Streeting, Luciana Berger and John Mann also addressed the crowd.

Mr Streeting vowed to help “drain the cesspit of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party”, while Ms Berger admitted anti-Semitism within Labour had now become more “conspicuous”, “commonplace” and “corrosive”.

Mr Mann was cheered as he was introduced as “the man who took on Ken Livingstone”, before he asked what is going wrong within Labour “when this event even has to be considered”.

Those Labour MPs present later left to attend a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party within the Palace of Westminster, where MPs and peers were set to discuss the issue despite the expected absence of Mr Corbyn.

As they departed Parliament Square, the MPs left to chants of “enough is enough”.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid was among Tory MPs to also attend the demonstration.

One campaigner named Johnny held a sign that adapted Labour’s campaign slogan to read: “For The Many, Not The Jew.”

Despite being a natural Labour voter, he told Sky News he is “sick of the anti-Semitism within Labour”, claiming the party is “not a place for Jewish people” under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

He added he “had to vote Tory” at the last election.

However, there were also campaigners present who held signs claiming allegations of anti-Semitism are a “smear” and a “media witch hunt” against Mr Corbyn.

The demonstration also prompted heated debate between members of the crowd and a campaigner brandishing an “End Israeli Apartheid” poster.

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