London mayor joins ranks opposing Corbyn's leadership

"I am afraid we simply cannot afford to go on like this," says London mayor, Sadiq Khan, of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

August 21, 2016 08:36
2 minute read.
Sadiq Khan

London mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Jeremy Corbyn is facing even more dissent within the British Labour Party after London mayor, Sadiq Khan, called for fellow members of the party to replace Corbyn.

Labour and its leader Corbyn have been facing issues since Britain's June 23 vote to exit the European Union. The veteran left-wing member of parliament is currently being challenged for the leadership by fellow lawmaker Owen Smith. Corbyn and members of the Labour party have also come under fire for a range of anti-Semitic comments, especially since Corbyn took over leadership of the party in September.

Khan wrote in The Jerusalem Post in June that he wanted to "send a message around the world by being the London mayor of Islamic faith who does more to protect Jewish Londoners from anti-Semitism than any mayor in this city’s history."

Corbyn in June appeared to have likened Israel to ISIS stating: “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel than our Muslim friends are for the self-styled Islamic State.”

Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog invited Corbyn to come to Israel and visit Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to “better understand the scourge of anti-Semitism," in June after former London mayor Ken Livingstone told the BBC that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist and Labour lawmaker Naz Shah suggested Israelis should be moved en masse to the United States.

In letters sent to Britain's Foreign Ministry in June, Corbyn called for sanctions against Israel and described some of the Jewish state’s politicians as “criminals” who should be banned from Britain.

After the letters went public, Corbyn in July faced a hearing before the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on rising anti-Semitism in his party and regretted calling Hezbollah and Hamas. 

Corbyn attempted to walk back Livingstone's anti-Semitic statements during the hearing. “Ken Livingstone made remarks that are wholly unacceptable and wrong,” Corbyn said of Livingstone's remarks in April in which he asserted that Hitler’s policy that Jews should be moved out of Europe and transferred to Israel instead was “supporting Zionism.”

In August, Owen Smith gained a nominational vote by the Jewish Labour movement, receiving 92% while Corbyn received just 4%. This nomination came after a Jewish donor to the British Labour Party, Michael Foster, likened Corbyn and his inner circle to "Nazi Stormtroopers.'

Gil Hoffman, Daniel Altman and JTA contributed to this report.

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