Jewish groups raise anti-Semitism concerns ahead of NDP MP's chat with Corbyn

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The heads of the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Board of Deputies of British Jews say Corbyn is "toxic" and that the planned livestream talk between him and Ashton risks pulling New Democrats in a direction "antithetical" to Canadian values.

Corbyn was booted from the British Labour party in October amid accusations he had weakened efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.

The party has been grappling with allegations anti-Semitism was allowed to fester under Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians and a critic of Israel who led the party for almost five years from 2015.

Ashton has been promoting the March 20 chat, which will be hosted by Progressive International, an organization launched in 2018 by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Canadian author Naomi Klein and other progressive politicians and activists.

Ashton and the NDP did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021.

—With a file from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press