Jeremy Corbyn was issued a strong warning on Monday, with senior Labour Party peers offering to investigate allegations of anti-Semitism in the party and telling him that without being fully confronted it is “a cancer that will continue to grow”. Baroness Smith of Basildon, the shadow leader of the Lords, was among signatories to a letter to Mr Corbyn in which the Labour Peers Group offered to establish a small panel to review the substance of allegations made in last week’s Panorama programme. They wrote: “The purpose of these proposals is to ensure that the Labour Party can regain the trust of its members, supporters and the wider public.
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“As the leader of our Party you have a responsibility to ensure that we do this.
“In particular, you need to demonstrate decisive leadership that Labour is determined and committed to do everything possible to remove anti-Semitism, and those that defend it, from our Party.
“Without full openness, this is a cancer that will continue to grow and, in hurting us, it will most hurt those that need a Labour Government. We are prepared to do all we can to assist.”
The Panorama programme claimed senior figures, including Mr Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne and general secretary Jennie Formby, had interfered in anti-Semitism investigations.
Labour denied the claims and have issued a complaint to the BBC.
On Monday evening, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt both suggested during a live head-to-head Tory leadership debate Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic after Labour faced increased criticism over its handling of the crisis.
Both were asked whether they think the Labour leader is personally anti-Semitic in the wake of a damning report by BBC’s Panorama, to which Mr Johnson replied: “I think by condoning anti-Semitism in the way he does, I am afraid he is effectively culpable of that vice.”
When asked the same question, Mr Hunt said: “Unfortunately, he may be.”
But this sparked a furious denial from Labour, calling it a “baseless political attack”.
A spokesman said: “Jeremy Corbyn is implacably opposed to anti-Semitism in all its forms and has campaigned against it throughout his life.”
But earlier today, the relentless pressure on Mr Corbyn increased, with a senior peer warning he was “not cut out” to be the party’s leader.
Lord Harris of Haringey, chairman of the Labour Peers Group, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There’s no question that in any organisation the moral tone that it sets, the style that it operates in is set from the top – that’s what leadership is all about.
“So obviously Jeremy Corbyn has got a huge responsibility in this. He could have reined back some of his more idiotic supporters and stopped them doing some of the things they are doing – the intimidation of members, the extraordinary discriminatory remark; he could have reined back the people in his office who have been apparently interfering in cases of discipline within the party.”
He added: “The concern that I have – and I have known Jeremy Corbyn for 47 years – is that he is not cut out to be a party leader.”
Earlier this month, Mr Corbyn performed a dramatic U-turn, shifting the party’s Brexit position and demanding the next Tory leader and Prime Minister put Britain’s departure from the bloc back to the British people before it is delivered.
He insisted the Labour Party will campaign for Remain “against either no deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs”.
In a letter to Labour members, Mr Corbyn wrote: “Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no deal, back to the people in a public vote.
“In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.”
Last week, a YouGov poll for The Times put Labour behind the Conservatives (24 percent) and Brexit Party (21 percent) in third place when UK adults were asked about their voting intentions.
A fifth (20 percent) of the 1,671 people surveyed from July 9-10 said they would vote for Labour if a general election was held tomorrow.