Jeremy Corbyn has declined multiple opportunities to apologise to the Jewish community after the Chief Rabbi said he was unfit to be Prime Minister.
The Labour leader told the BBC's Andrew Neil he does not tolerate antisemitism in “any form whatsoever” and such hatred was “vile and wrong”, but refused four opportunities to apologise in an interview on Tuesday night.
“I'm looking forward to having a discussion with him (the Chief Rabbi) because I want to hear why he would say such a thing,” he said.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has accused Mr Corbyn of failing to deal with accusations of antisemitism within his party, and said Britain’s Jews were “gripped with anxiety” ahead of the general election.
Mr Corbyn said the number of incidents inside the party “didn’t rise” after he became leader, and he has “developed a much stronger process” to deal with members proven to be antisemitic.
It followed a refusal by Chancellor Sajid Javid to criticise Boris Johnson for his comments about Muslim women before he was Prime Minister.
In a newspaper column last year Mr Johnson used the words “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” to describe Muslim women wearing a veil.
The Conservatives have been accused by the Muslim Council of Britain of “denial, dismissal and deceit” with regards to Islamophobia in the party.
Mr Javid said the Prime Minister had “explained why he's used that language” and the article was to “defend the rights of women”.
“Whenever this issue has come about (for) the Conservative Party, no-one has ever credibly suggested that it's an issue with the leadership of the party, whether that's the leader of the party of the day or the Chancellor or other senior figures,” he said.
Mr Corbyn Is expected to make a “major statement” on the NHS on Wednesday, and will later address a climate change rally in Falmouth.
Mr Johnson will visit the south west to set out plans to strengthen phone signals in rural areas.
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