Jeremy Corbyn has been plunged into a new anti-Semitism row with Labour MPs after attending an event with members of a left-wing group hostile to mainstream Jewish organisations.
The Labour leader’s office confirmed he attended a gathering in his Islington North constituency organised by a radical group called Jewdas to mark the Jewish feast day of Seder.
His attendance at the event was immediately condemned by Labour MPs and came only hours after he said in a TV interview he would not tolerate any anti-Semitism in the party.
It also came just hours after the left-wing Momentum group issued a statement helpful to Mr Corbyn, declaring anti-Semitism was more widespread in Labour than was thought and complaints could not be dismissed as right-wing smears.
Confirming Mr Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas event, a spokesman for the Labour leader said that he had attended an event with Jewish people from his constituency in a personal capacity.
“Jeremy was invited to a Passover Seder with Jewish members of his local community,” said the spokesman.
“He wrote to the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council last week to ask for an urgent formal meeting to discuss tackling anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and in society.”
But Jewdas has been attacked by Labour MPs after criticising last week’s Parliament Square demonstration against anti-Semitism in Labour, which was attended by dozens of MPs of all parties.
The group said allegations linking Mr Corbyn to anti-Semitism were “the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the Labour Party”.
Condemning Mr Corbyn for attending the Jewdas gathering, Labour MP John Woodcock tweeted: “This is deliberately baiting the mainstream Jewish community days after they pleaded with him to tackle anti-Semitism.
“And he must know that meeting them now will give his members the message that the group’s extreme views are OK. Irresponsible and dangerous.”
Another Labour MP, Angela Smith, tweeted: “Corbyn’s attendance at the Jewdas Seder reads as a blatant dismissal of the case made for tackling anti-Semitism in Labour. #Enoughis Enough.”
Mr Corbyn was also criticised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Its chairman Gideon Falter said: “Given the anti-Semitism crisis engulfing the Labour Party, there is absolutely no way that Mr Corbyn can claim that this too was an oversight.
“Following the events of the past few weeks and indeed the past three years, this is a very clear two fingered salute at mainstream British Jewry.
“It is hard to imagine how this duplicitous man can claim to be remedying anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.
“The party must consider the message that is sent to British Jews and other minorities by him remaining as leader.”