Boris Johnson: Labour infected by a ‘virus of anti-Semitism’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Boris Johnson: Labour infected by a ‘virus of anti-Semitism’

The outgoing Mayor of London weighs into Labour's anti-Semitism row by saying the party's been 'infected' with a virus

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

The Labour Party has become infected by a “virus of anti-Semitism”, London mayor Boris Johnson has claimed in the wake of the suspension of Ken Livingstone.

Mr Johnson said there was an “ideological continuum” between Mr Livingstone, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan, the party’s candidate for London mayor.

“There is plainly some sort of virus of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party that needs to be addressed,” he told LBC radio.

“There is an ideological continuum between Ken Livingstone about Israel and the position of Jeremy Corbyn and indeed the views of their candidate for London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

“They are now basically captured by the old Livingstonian mafia, the machine, the London Labour Party- that’s who’s running the Labour Party now. That’s what the Corbynistas are.

“The reality is that they have some pretty tough views about Israel and if you listen to some of the things that are being said about Israel and what should happen to Israel, in my view, it shades into anti-Semitism.”

Although Mr Khan was among the first Labour MPs to call for Mr Livingstone to be suspended, Mr Johnson insisted that he remained close to his wing of the party.

“I think it was very prudent of the Labour Party candidate to do that,” he said. “I certainly think it was politically expedient for him to do that.”

He added: “Sadiq Khan is heavily associated with Ken Livingstone … Sadiq Khan emanated from the bowels of the Corbynista movement.”

A spokesman for Mr Khan rejected the mayor’s claims, saying that he found Mr Livingstone’s comments “indefensible”.

“Sadiq has led the criticism of the Labour Party leadership for failing to take proper action to root out anti-Semitism,” the spokesman said.

“Sadiq has consistently spoken out against anti-Semitism and finds Ken Livingstone’s comments appalling and indefensible.

“He thinks it’s right that Ken Livingstone has been suspended – a course of action he called for.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: