“I don’t know whether he is personally antisemitic. His actions would seem to suggest he’s got questions to answer on that front” – @ChukaUmunna on Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party –
MEGAN WHITE, Evening Standard
He said the Labour leader was “just as bad as Theresa May” but now feared he could win a general election.
Appearing on Ridge on Sunday, the Mr Umunna also said he disagrees with fellow group member Anna Soubry about austerity.
He said: “First of all, it starts from the top. You have a leader who backed up and promoted an anti-Semitic mural.
“You have a leader who has talked about Jewish people not having an English sense of irony.
“You have a leader who has attended a wreath laying ceremony for terrorists.
“On top of that, there have been people who have been guilty of egregious anti-Semitism and the sanction is just being reminded of the guidelines.
“That is not a party taking it seriously. I don’t know whether he is personally anti-Semitic. His actions would seem to suggest he’s got questions to answer on that front.
“I’ve been very clear, the Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic, and you either put your head in the sand and you ignore it or you actually do something about it.
“The failure to do something about it made my position untenable. My family has been victims of racism.
“One of the reasons I joined the Labour Party was because it was this anti-racist ideal, but if that isn’t matched by its actions then I can’t have anything to do with an outfit that goes along with that.”
Mr Umunna left the Labour Party on Monday along with Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker and Mike Gapes, to sit as part of a new faction.
Labour MP Joan Ryan joined on Tuesday, while Tories Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen joined the group on Wednesday.
During the interview, he also said he believes the traditional party system is “broken,” and that he “doesn’t want either a Labour or Tory government.”
But shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner hit back at Mr Umunna, claiming the reason he left the Labour Party was because he “knew he could never be the leader.”
He added: “This is someone who had no great policy difference, it was all about personality.”