Lib Dem equalities spokesperson: Tories ‘failing to keep anti-Jewish hate under control’

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Lib Dem equalities spokesperson: Tories ‘failing to keep anti-Jewish hate under control’

Wera Hobhouse said the 'shocking' statistics should be addressed more directly by the government

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Swastika daubed on a car in Bristol (Credit: Nick Helfenbein)
Swastika daubed on a car in Bristol (Credit: Nick Helfenbein)

Liberal Democrats equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse has accused the Conservatives of “failing to keep anti-Jewish hate incidents under control” following the release of the latest Community Security Trust report.

In a tweet posted in response to the new report showing a record number of antisemitic incidents over the past year, Hobhouse wrote: “The statistics in this report are shocking.

“The Conservatives are clearly failing to keep anti-Jewish hate incidents under control.

“My heart goes out to anyone affected by these incidents.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been outspoken in her condemnation of antisemitism – but the Lib Dems have repeatedly questioned the ability of Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to combine that role with the Equalities Minister brief, which also involved focus on community issues.

Hobhouse told Jewish News:”Today’s figures show that part time Equalities Minister Liz Truss has let the Jewish community down.

“The Liberal Democrats are calling for her to step down to let someone more dedicated do the full-time role and for an urgent strategy on how to tackle rising anti-Jewish hatred.”

CST’s Antisemitic Incidents Report 2021 logged 2,255 incidents, up 34% from 1,684 the year before.

The charity noted that nearly 40 per cent of these incidents were associated with times when conflict between Israel and Palestine broke out – notably including when passengers in a convoy of cars covered with the Palestinian flag made threats against Jews in Golders Green.

Wera Hobhouse

Home Secretary Priti Patel reacted to the report, published on Thursday, saying:“These statistics are shocking and a stark reminder that the racism of antisemitism has not been eradicated.

“Our Jewish community has been subject to appalling hatred and it is through the strength and determination of the Community Security Trust that we continue in our work together to stop such terrible attacks.

“In addition to supporting the work of CST, I continue to support the police to ensure they have the resources to tackle these despicable incidents so that perpetrators can then be punished with the full force of the law.”

On LBC radio on Mark Gardner, the CST’s chief executive, told LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast the report showed it was “Not a good year last year for British Jews, and I think most Jewish people will be shocked but not at all surprised by what we’ve found.”

The Home Secretary last week attempted to blame London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the slow rate of arrests of those involved in antisemitic incidents in the capital by Metropolitan Police offices.

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