Jeremy Corbyn has a 'positive' meeting on tackling anti-Semitism. Or does he?
It definitely could have gone better...
Jeremy Corbyn’s eagerly-anticipated meeting with Britain’s two main Jewish groups failed to produce any meaningful breakthrough. And, rather appropriately, both sides put out statements which suggested they had been at entirely separate events.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council said it had been “a disappointing missed opportunity”.
Meanwhile a senior Labour source said there were “lots of areas of agreement" and a statement from Jeremy Corbyn said he was grateful for "a positive and constructive meeting about tackling anti-semitism".
There are also reports that Corbyn "shrugged" when asked about his lack of passion for tackling anti-Semitism among his supporters and he is said to have brushed off the idea of appointing an independent ombudsman to deal with allegations. A source told he Jewish Chronicle’s Stephen Pollard: “Every time you ask him to do something he finds an excuse and relies on process.”
Corbyn’s earlier apology in the pages of the Evening Standard did represent progress, but the Board and JLC said: “Words in letters and newspaper articles will never be enough … it is action by which the Jewish community will judge him and the Labour party.”
Whatever the rights and wrongs, it’s clear that the two sides are as far apart as they were before Wednesday's talks.