‘Cowardly’ Leonard must explain failure to stand up for Jewish community

5 Sep 2018

Richard Leonard must explain his “cowardly” behaviour after he refused to back a bid aimed at eradicating anti-semitism from his party.

Labour’s National Executive Committee finally agreed yesterday to adopt the definition of anti-semitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

However, Scottish leader Leonard refused to vote on the matter, while four of his Holyrood colleagues objected to the plan.

He has now been urged to explain his behaviour to Scotland’s Jewish community, who have endured months of anti-semitic behaviour from elements of the Labour party, and a refusal by UK leader Jeremy Corbyn to stamp it out.

The Scottish Conservatives also urged the four Labour MSPs who voted against yesterday’s motions to come clean.

One of them, Rhoda Grant, admitted to her role on today’s Good Morning Scotland, but the identity of the other three remains a mystery.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“The drama surrounding this vote, and the fact so many tried to change it or objected rabidly to it, is evidence of genuine anti-semitism at the heart of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

“In refusing to stand up to this, Richard Leonard’s behaviour has been cowardly.

“This was an opportunity for him to put some distance between Scottish Labour and a UK party that is riddled with anti-semitism.

“Instead, he was inexcusably subservient, weak and should hang his head in shame.

“How can he possibly look Scotland’s Jewish community in the eye again?

“And as for the four Labour MSPs who voted against, they’ve shown they’d rather cosy up to Jeremy Corbyn and his depraved henchmen than defend members of the Jewish community.”