Anti-Semites feel comfortable enough to approach Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary in the street to put forward their views, Emily Thornberry revealed today.
The Islington South MP described how just last week a woman started an unacceptable conversation with her, believing it was supportive of the Labour Party.
Thornberry said she was “shocked” by what she heard, but indicated this was not the first time it had happened.
Corbyn, who has vowed to be a “militant opponent” of anti-Semitism, left the Commons chamber before many of the speeches, and did not take part in the debate himself.
Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning if she was “ashamed” at the anti-Semitic abuse directed at Labour MPs by its own supporters, Thornberry replied: “Of course I am. I’m sickened by it.
“I’m fed up with it. I’m fed up with hearing about it. I’m fed with hearing this dreadful stuff.
“I’m fed up with meeting people on the street as well – this whole issue has been raised and people feel it’s fine to come up and talk to you in the most appalling terms quite frankly.
“I spoke to somebody last weekend and I was really shocked to suddenly see the way the conversation turned and she thought she was supportive of Labour and she thought she was supportive of me and I had to make it clear that actually that was not acceptable.
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible and we will sort this out.”
Corbyn is set to meet with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council on Tuesday to discuss how to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
The Labour leader admitted there are “pockets” of the racism in the party following a row over his support for an anti-Semitic mural in 2012 on the grounds of free speech.
Corbyn later claimed not to have paid close enough attention to the image, which was painted on to wall in East London.