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Labour Leadership Candidates Urged to Back Muslim Council's Ten-Point Anti-Islamophobia Plan

© AFP 2021 / PAUL ELLISOfficial merchandise from the opposition Labour party is seen on sale at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, north west England on September 23, 2018, the official opening day of the annual Labour Party Conference
Official merchandise from the opposition Labour party is seen on sale at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, north west England on September 23, 2018, the official opening day of the annual Labour Party Conference - Sputnik International
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Following the Labour Party's dramatic defeat in the December 2019 general election, leader Jeremy Corbyn promised that he would step down as party head. One of the main issues said to have turned support away from the Labour Party were accusations of failing to deal with internal racism, specifically anti-semitism.

The Labour Council of Muslims urged Labour leadership candidates to support a 10-point list of pledges on Wednesday, outlined by the UK’s largest Islamic umbrella organisation.

The measures, put together by the Muslim Council of Britain, include adopting the definition of Islamophobia as a “rooted in racism and as a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness", determined by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims.

It also requests that candidates defend "religious liberty", support refugees, protect places of worship, and pursue an ethical foreign policy.

​So far, candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, and Jess Phillips have agreed to uphold the pledge.

"I will not just support these pledges, but as leader of the Labour Party I will stand with the Muslim community", said Long-Bailey, who was the first to respond to the demands.

She also called out Conservatives for "ignoring" Islamophobia.

"I support these pledges and would continue to work with Britain’s Muslim communities if leader of the Labour Party", said Starmer, who, according to YouGov, remains the favourite to succeed Corbyn.

The request follows a series of demands issued by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) on Sunday.

​The pledges were subject to deep controversy by left-wing Jewish groups and some Labour supporters for being a non-party affiliated organisation trying to "influence" the outcome of an internal election.

Jewish critics slammed the demands for attempting to undermine the independence of the election process and being "questionable" and "potentially illegal".

​Desire for Labour to take increased action against anti-semitism and Islamophobia within the party and in Britain in general follows a barrage of accusations which plagued the Corbyn leadership, with Britain's Chief Rabbi allowing “a new poison” of anti-semitism to run throughout the party, just prior to the December general election.

Jeremy Corbyn has consistently said he is addressing any racism within the party and has noted that Labour is no place for anti-semites.

With their immediate vocalisation of support, it appears his successors could be attempting to shed the past concerns that Labour has been associated with anti-semitism.

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