UK Labour MP David Lammy tells Jewish event he regrets nominating Corbyn for party leader

UK Labour MP David Lammy tells Jewish event he regrets nominating Corbyn for party leader
British MP David Lammy told said he regrets nominating left-wing politician Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party in 2015
2 min read
30 December, 2021
David Lammy 'regrets voting for Corbyn' [Getty]

UK Labour lawmaker and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy apologised at a Jewish festival earlier this week for nominating left-wing politician Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in 2015.

Speaking at the online Limmud Festival, Lammy said he did not think Corbyn would actually become the party's leader.

"I regret nominating Jeremy Corbyn and if I knew what I do now I never would have nominated him. I never believed he would become leader. That was a mistake and I am sorry for that," he said in comments reported by Jewish News.

Lammy urged support for the two-state solution regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but promised to "be firm with those who want to do harm to us or our friends" in reference to Israel.

Corbyn, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, attracted thousands of new members to the Labour Party with his left-wing views, but his leadership team was accused of failing to act on repeated incidents of anti-Semitic behaviour - a claim they denied.

A leaked internal report by the UK Labour Party in April revealed that "hyper-factional" staff members opposed to Corbyn hampered his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism allegations.

Corbyn stepped down from the party leadership in December 2019 after Labour lost a general election to the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, by a landslide.

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On Corbyn's successor, Keir Starmer, Lammy said the party has recovered and become less "toxic".

"I don't believe the overall culture is toxic anymore… but until the party is genuinely welcome for everyone we remain on a journey," he said.

However, leadership under Starmer has proven unpopular among some of the party's Muslim members, who say they have been sidelined.

Last year, a survey commissioned by the Labour Muslim Network found that 55 percent of Muslim members did not "trust the leadership of the Labour Party to tackle Islamophobia effectively".