'I’m so angry!' Chuka Umunna lashes out at Labour MPs defending ‘indefensible’ Corbyn

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In a fiery outburst at this week’s hustings at a north London Jewish centre, the Liberal Democrats candidate laid bare his true feelings for Labour MPs who refuse to call out their party leader for his comments on Jews. Mr Umunna said he was “angry and fed up” with watching his former Labour colleagues repeatedly defend the Labour leader and claimed he had been subjected to widespread attacks from ethnic minority MPs in Mr Corbyn’s party after he spoke out bout the crisis. He went head to head with Labour’s representative on the panel, Naz Shah, who was suspended for the party in 2016 in a row over antisemitism but has since won praise from the Jewish community for making amends.

Referring to Mr Corbyn, a male voter in the audience said “it doesn’t appear that he’s come anywhere near along the line of the journey that you personally have come across” and added that the Labour leader “seems to have hardened his heart”.

Ms Shah responded by saying she would have handled the crisis differently to Mr Corbyn and would like to see some fellow party members of the party go on the same journey as she did to educate themselves on what constitutes exactly antisemitism.

The Bradford West candidate said: “I genuinely believe on a personal level that Jeremy does care and because I’ve had conversations with him.

“Whether he does it the right way and whether he’s getting it right is a different question.

“And that’s the conversation that I want to continue with the leadership.”

She said working alongside Mr Corbyn convinced her that he has “ made a commitment” to stamp out anti-Jewish racism within the Labour Party

But it was clear Mr Umunna, the Lib Dems’ spokesman for foreign affairs, had become irritated by her response.

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He pointed to instances in the past which Mr Corbyn has been accused of singling out Jews in a negative way.

“Imagine if you had a member of Parliament defending a mural depicting black and Asian people in a particular way – obviously racist on the face of it,” he said.

“People keep making excuses for it and they are sponsoring him to become the prime minister of our country.”

He said he received a backlash from fellow Labour MPs who were of ethnic minority background after he called the party institutionally racist in September 2018.

He added: “You know what disappointed me the most? It was other people of a black and minority ethnic background – other black parliamentarians – attacked me, attacked me for calling this out in the media.

“That’s why I am so angry and I am so disappointed.”

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.

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