(JTA) — Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “very sorry for everything that’s happened” with anti-Semitic incidents involving party members.
Corbyn made the remark in an interview Tuesday with ITV’s Philip Schofield on the Dec. 12 general elections in the United Kingdom.
In the tense interview, Schofield pushed Corbyn to say he was sorry.
“Obviously I’m very sorry for what has happened, but I want to make this clear, I am dealing with it. I have dealt with it,” Corbyn said. “Other parties are also affected by anti-Semitism. Candidates have been withdrawn by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives and by us because we do not accept it in any form whatsoever.”
Corbyn declined to apologize or express regret in a similar exchange last week during a BBC interview with Andrew Neil, deflecting the interviewer’s demand for such a statement by repeating the party line on racism.
But Corbyn has said sorry before, including in 2018 when he stated in a video message: “I am sorry for the hurt that has been caused to many Jewish people. We have been too slow in processing disciplinary cases of, mostly, online anti-Semitic abuse by party members. We are acting to speed this process up.”
Anti-Semitism has grown increasingly prevalent in Labour’s ranks following the 2015 election of Corbyn as its leader. The hard-left politician has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends.”
Some members caught engaging in anti-Semitic rhetoric have been kicked out, but others have been readmitted and thousands of complaints have gone unprocessed.