Jeremy Corbyn expressed concerns that evidence of anti-Semitism within the Labour party has been “mislaid, ignored or not used”, a leaked recording has revealed.
The Labour leader made the comments in February during a private conversation with Margaret Hodge, a prominent Jewish Labour MP, which she recorded, and which has been obtained by the Sunday Times newspaper.
Dame Margaret told Mr Corbyn last year he was “an anti-Semite and a racist”. She subsequently faced an investigation into her behaviour, which was later dropped.
In the recording published by the newspaper, Dame Margaret and Mr Corbyn discussed his plans to persuade Charles Falconer, a former lord chancellor, to lead a review into how Labour has dealt with allegations of anti-Semitic discrimination.
“Just to reassure you, he’s not going to be running the system; he’s not entitled to do that,” Mr Corbyn said.
“He will look at the speed of dealing with cases, the administration of them and the collation of the evidence before it’s put before appropriate panels . . . because I was concerned that it was either being mislaid, ignored or not used, and there had to be some better system.”
A Labour spokesman said the remarks showed Mr Corbyn’s desire to make procedures as “robust and efficient as possible”.
Mr Corbyn has been dogged by allegations of anti-Semitism by hundreds of Labour members since he won the party leadership in 2015.
The issue came to a head in February when nine Labour MPs quit the party, citing the leadership’s handling of anti-Semitism.
Britain’s human rights watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, announced in March that it had begun proceedings against the party over its handling of complaints.
The commission will contact Mr Corbyn’s party to set out its concerns and request a response. If that response is found to be unsatisfactory, the commission could launch a formal investigation. Read more