Actions — not words

THERE were some stirring and apposite words from shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, speaking in the august surroundings of the House of Lords, and reported on this week’s front page. But haven’t we heard it all before? Mrs Rayner sounds genuine enough. Antisemitism has no place in the Labour Party and the sooner it engages with the Jewish community the better, she insisted.

And, like so many before her in the Labour Party, Mrs Rayner took the opportunity again to apologise for some ill-chosen, misplaced comments — in her case about the Holocaust. As she herself said, it is action, not words, that are needed. And we offered her that opportunity, asking her whether she would be as robust in making the same points to her leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and pointing out to him that it is his own inaction that has caused the festering absess of antisemitism to thrive in the party, rather than being lanced.

Sadly though, Mrs Rayner chose to insist that she was not there to be interviewed and had accepted the invitation to the Board of Deputies’ Chanucah reception to apologise for her own previous comments. But she nevertheless had spoken about the problems within her party as a whole, so why could she not have had the courage to confirm that she would relay the concerns she has to Corbyn. Perhaps she has done so already, but she lost a golden opportunity to enhance her own reputation — within Anglo-Jewry at least.

The Editor and staff of the Jewish Telegraph wish readers Shabbat Shalom and Chanucah Sameach

E-MAIL: editor@jewishtelegraph.com

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