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Rosie Duffield MP for Canterbury admits embarrassment over Labour's anti-Semitism crisis


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Labour MP Rosie Duffield has admitted her party "probably is" institutionally anti-Semitic.

The Canterbury MP says she is "very embarrassed and ashamed" of the way Labour has been handling the crisis engulfing the party.

Speaking on BBC One's Sunday Politics show, she called for urgent action and stronger leadership.

Rosie Duffield appearing on BBC's Sunday Politics (13785461)
Rosie Duffield appearing on BBC's Sunday Politics (13785461)

Ms Duffield was asked if she agrees with the chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement's opinion that Labour is "institutionally anti-Semitic".

"I'm afraid it probably is right," she said.

"We absolutely have to deal with this urgently now, no more excuses, no more kicking it in to the long grass, or investigations of two or three years.

"We really have to be seen to be doing the right thing.

"It's not good, its shameful for us as a party. I'm really embarrassed about it. I've got many close Jewish friends and I know how upset they've been.

"We absolutely have to deal with it quicker. It does take strong leadership and that's what we've got to show now. I think we've got step up and get on with it.

Jeremy Corbyn (13785485)
Jeremy Corbyn (13785485)

"It's horrible, most of us are very embarrassed and ashamed about this. I'm not going to pretend it's OK and I'm not going to defend us as a party because people are leaving and the Jewish community have been let down.

When asked if the party is fit to govern the country at this moment in time, Ms Duffield stated, "I hope so".

Her appearance on the BBC show comes days after Canterbury Labour chiefs insist their MP will continue to be backed by the party - despite rumours she is on a "purge" list.

According to a Sky News opinion piece, Ms Duffield is facing the risk of a trigger ballot where local party members will try to oust her.

It comes after the 48-year-old admitted last autumn that she was considering her future following a row over her support for anti-Semitism protestors.

'We are keen for her to stay' - Paul Todd, Canterbury Labour Party

Back then, she was at risk of censure from members of her own association.

The Sky News article suggests there groups of "bully men" in local parties who are intent on forcing out women MPs.

But, speaking to KentOnline, Canterbury Labour Party member Paul Todd has denied the claim, and says Ms Duffield will continue to be backed.

"We are keen for her to stay," he said.

"The vast majority of people in Canterbury really like Rosie Duffield and like having her as the MP.

"I'm determined that while that remains the case, she will be backed by the party.

"I've heard no indication that there's a purge going on. There's nothing going on that shouldn't be the normal process."

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