‘If this was the leader of any other party he’d be gone by now’: Javid says Corbyn should quit as pressure mounts over visit to Munich terrorists’ grave site and speech at Holocaust denier’s wedding
- Secretary Sajid Javid suggested Jeremy Corbyn should quit as Labour leader
- He was photographed holding wreath at tribute for Palestine ‘martyrs’ in 2014
- Javid said leader of any other main party would have to go if they did the same
- Labour leader also spoke at alleged Holocaust ‘denier’ Husam Zomlot’s wedding
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has suggested that Jeremy Corbyn should quit as Labour leader following controversy over his visit to a cemetery in Tunisia containing memorials to PLO terrorists.
Mr Javid said that the leader of any other mainstream political party would have to go if they did the same.
Questions were raised over the 2014 trip after the Daily Mail published pictures of the Labour leader holding a wreath near the graves of some of those responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Labour said that Corbyn had already made clear he was paying his respects to the victims of a 1985 Israeli airstrike on Palestinian Liberation Organisation offices in Tunis.
But the Mail said its own visit to the Martyrs Cemetery had shown the pictures were taken in front of a plaque honouring the founder of Black September, which carried out the Munich atrocity, while the airstrike memorial was 15 yards away.
The comments come as Corbyn is embroiled in a fresh anti-Semitism row after it was revealed that he gave a wedding speech for an alleged Holocaust ‘denier’.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has suggested that Jeremy Corbyn should quit as Labour leader following controversy over his visit to a cemetery in Tunisia containing memorials to terrorists
Questions were raised over the 2014 trip after the Daily Mail published pictures of the Labour leader holding a wreath near the graves of some of those responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics
Mr Javid said in a tweet: ‘If this was the leader of any other major political party, he or she would be gone by now.’
Labour sources said that Mr Corbyn had already given a full explanation of his presence in the cemetery when the Tunis visit first hit the headlines during last year’s general election campaign.
The Labour leader said at that time: ‘I was in Tunisia at a Palestinian conference and I spoke at that Palestinian conference and I laid a wreath to all those that had died in the air attack that took place on Tunis, on the headquarters of the Palestinian organisations there.
‘And I was accompanied by very many other people who were at a conference searching for peace.’
The pictures emerged amid continuing controversy over Labour’s refusal to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism, including a list of examples of anti-Semitic behaviour.
Jeremy Corbyn spoke at alleged Holocaust ‘denier’ Husam Zomlot’s wedding, five years before the MP became Labour leader
Mr Zomlot, 44, told the BBC in 2014: ‘They [Israel] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe’
The situation escalated again after Corbyn was seen giving wedding speech for an alleged Holocaust ‘denier’.
The Labour leader paid tribute to Husam Zomlot, who was at the centre of a furious row when he appeared to suggest that Israel had ‘fabricated’ the Holocaust.
Mr Zomlot, 44, told the BBC in 2014: ‘They [Israel] are fabricating all these stories about beheading journalists in Iraq… as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe.’
It triggered an outcry among Jewish groups, although Mr Zomlot strongly denied that he meant that details of the Holocaust had been fabricated. He said his words were meant to convey that Israel was using both the Holocaust and the murder of Western journalists by Islamic State to ‘justify its murder of Palestine’.
He made the inflammatory remarks shortly after IS posted a video of the beheading of an American photographer James Foley.
Mr Zomlot has also said Israel was founded on the ‘skulls of our nation’ and accused the country of an ‘ethnic cleansing campaign’.
A picture obtained by The Mail on Sunday shows Mr Corbyn speaking at Mr Zomlot’s marriage to wife Susan, five years before the MP became Labour leader.
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Mr Zomlot, pictured here at an anti-Israel demo in 2015 where a swastika is clearly visible, now heads the general delegation of the PLO to the United States
Three senior union leaders – from the GMB, Unison and Usdaw – have added their voices to calls from deputy leader Tom Watson for the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance text to be incorporated in its entirety into Labour’s new code of conduct on anti-Semitism.
Labour has launched a consultation with Jewish groups over the code, after protests that the version agreed by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee omits four examples relating to criticism of the state of Israel.
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘The code of conduct adopts the IHRA definition and expands on and contextualises its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases.
‘The NEC upheld the adoption of the code of conduct on anti-Semitism, but in recognition of the serious concerns expressed, agreed to re-open the development of the code, in consultation with Jewish community organisations and groups, in order to better reflect their views.’
Writing in the Sunday Mirror, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: ‘Both Jeremy Corbyn and I have made clear that racism and anti-Semitism have no place in the Labour Party.
‘Labour will resolve any outstanding issues within our party and get out there to assist the Jewish community in fighting anti-Semitism and racism.’
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