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Leading writers and historians in the UK have said they cannot support the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership because of continuing allegations of antisemitism within the party. John le Carré, William Boyd, Frederick Forsyth, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Fay Weldon and the historian Ed Husain, author of The House of Islam, have written an open letter to the Guardian saying they refuse to vote Labour in the forthcoming UK General Election on 12 December.
‘The coming election is momentous for every voter, but for British Jews it contains a particular anguish: the prospect of a prime minister steeped in association with antisemitism,’ they write. ‘Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour has come under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for institutional racism against Jews. Two Jewish MPs have been bullied out of the party. Mr Corbyn has a long record of embracing antisemites as comrades….’
‘But antisemitism is central to a wider debate about the kind of country we want to be. To ignore it because Brexit [the UK’s departure from the European Union] looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government. Which other community’s concerns are disposable in this way? Who would be next?’
At the same time, UK industry bodies including the Publishers Association and the Society of Authors have sent a letter to the political parties ahead of the release of their election manifestos calling for them to commit to removing the “unfair and illogical” VAT on digital publications.