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

Two Jewish advocacy groups are raising concerns about NDP MP Niki Ashton's planned public conversation with former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was recently expelled from Labour after a report by the U.K. human rights commission.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

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 after a report by the U.K. Equality and Human Rights Commission found Labour, while Corbyn was leader, had failed to address many complaints of anti-Semitic harassment and, on almost two dozen occasions, politically interfered with investigations of anti-Semitism complaints.

Ashton has been promoting the March 20 chat, which will be hosted by Progressive International. On Wednesday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh told reporters Ashton did not tell anyone in his office of the planned conversation until shortly before information about it was posted on social media.

Earlier this year Ashton was stripped of Parliamentary critic roles after travelling to Greece despite calls from public health officials to not travel internationally except for an essential purpose. An NDP spokesperson said Ashton's foreign travel was not cleared with the leader's office.


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