Exclusive: MP Ruth Smeeth “heartbroken” over Corbyn’s anti-Semitism response

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Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth says she is “heartbroken” over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s response to anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and accused him of a lack of support.

The Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North was born and raised in a Jewish household.

She said: “There’s a difference between racist abuse from a Nazi walking down the street or someone on the far right but when it’s from within your party, when it’s from within a group you see as family, it’s devastating.

“I feel like we have no right to exist.  

“I’ve had zero support from the leader of the Labour Party.”

Since June 2016 some members of the Labour party were found to have held anti-Semitic views which led to 12 members being expelled from the party last month.

Despite being a Labour activist, Smeeth has had to completely change her life after receiving abuse and threats.

She said: “The last three years within the Labour party have been a rollercoaster, they’ve not been what I had thought when I was planning the journey I would be on.

“I started campaigning for the Labour Party when I was eight years old. It was the most important vehicle for progressive change in this country. It has defined my identity as much as my faith.

“For the leader of the party not to intervene and to be quite on an issue of racism, there hasn’t been a leader in our history who would have done that, it makes me feel sick.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the other people who aren’t going to be involved and that’s what i’m angry with him about.

“There’s no hierarchy of racism, just because it’s Jews now it doesn’t mean there won’t be someone else tomorrow.”

Corbyn said that the party had “nothing to hide.” Speaking at the Scottish Labour Conference in Dundee this weekend, he said: “Racism, religious bigotry and misogyny have no place whatsoever in any part of our movement.”

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