Jeremy Corbyn begins tour of Scotland

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Jeremy Corbyn begins tour of Scotland


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PA

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Jeremy Corbyn will launch his tour of Scotland at a bus manufacturers in Falkirk

Jeremy Corbyn has begun a four-day tour of Scotland, amid continuing accusations of anti-Semitism.

The Labour party leader is due to deliver a speech outlining a new vision for the Scottish economy.

But he is expected to face more questions about anti-Semitism following the suspension of former MP Jim Sheridan from the party.

Mr Sheridan is alleged to be responsible for posts about the Jewish community made on social media.

A post on Facebook spoke of the Renfrewshire councillor’s loss of “respect and empathy” for the Jewish community amid the row about anti-Semitism.

It has since been removed.

The Labour Party has said it cannot comment on individual cases, but that complaints of anti-Semitism are all “fully investigated”.

He is the second Scottish councillor to be suspended from the party over online comments made about the anti-Semitism row.

Earlier this year, Fife councillor Mary Lockhart suggested that headlines critical of Labour’s position could be the work of the Israeli security services.

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Labour Party

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Former MP Jim Sheridan has been suspended from the Labour party

The row centres on Labour’s new code of conduct on anti-Semitism, which its critics say is not as comprehensive as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s guidelines.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has said he wants Labour to have a “robust” code of conduct that commands the support of the Jewish community.

He is expected to share a platform with Mr Corbyn at the Alexander Dennis bus manufacturers in Falkirk later as part of a campaign to promote British industry.

Ephraim Borowski, of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, told BBC Radio Scotland he had held constructive discussions with Mr Leonard.

Interviewed on Good Morning Scotland, he rubbished suggestions that the row was part of a plot to oust Mr Corbyn from the head of the Labour party.

“There will be all kinds of people who have all kinds of different reasons for the attitude that they take to Jeremy Corbyn, or for that matter Theresa May or Boris Johnston, it doesn’t make them plotters,” he said.

“The fact that they have something that they object to, the fact that they may even agree with other people about what it is that they object to, doesn’t make them part of any kind of conspiracy.”

‘Extremely serious’

He added: “The idea that because somebody is critical of Jeremy Corbyn, they must be in the pay of Mossad is frankly laughable.”

In a statement from the Labour party, it said it took all complaints of anti-Semitism “extremely seriously” and was “committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms”.

“All complaints about anti-Semitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken,” it added.

It came as Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf revealed he had not yet been interviewed as part of a Labour investigation into Islamophobic remarks made against him.

Dumfries and Galloway Labour councillor Jim Dempster was suspended from the party after he admitted the outburst, and apologised for it.

In a series of tweets, Mr Yousaf said he had been told the probe would conclude in July but he had “heard nothing”.

Mr Corbyn is scheduled to spend the morning at bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis in Falkirk as part of the party’s “Build it in Britain” campaign to promote British industry.

He launched that campaign at a speech in Birmingham last month, in which he promised that Labour would use state aid powers “to the full” to support Britain’s manufacturing sector following Brexit.

The party believes that UK-based manufacturers could benefit from its plans to use government spending to buy British where possible, with positive consequences for job creation and tax revenues.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Corbyn said: “The next Labour government will re-programme the economy to deliver an industrial renaissance for Scotland.”

He added: “Labour will use the public sector’s enormous buying power to support workers and industries by buying in Britain whenever possible.

“We will boost Scottish manufacturing, which will support jobs and living standards in the wider economy, strengthen our capacity to export, and expand our tax base.

“It’s time the Scottish people had a government with the determination to create an economy that works for the many, not the few.”

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