David Lammy: I’m sorry for nominating Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader

The Shadow Foreign Secretary said he ‘never believed’ Corbyn would become leader

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Labour’s David Lammy has apologised for nominating Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the party in 2015, saying he “never believed he would become leader.”

Speaking at Jewish event the Limmud festival, the Shadow Foreign Secretary said he is “staggered” that there is still antisemitism within the Labour Party.

“I regret nominating Jeremy Corbyn and if I knew what I do now, I never would have nominated him.

“I never believed he would become leader. That was a mistake and I am sorry for that.”

The MP added he supported Sir Keir Starmer as leader, saying: I don’t believe the overall culture is toxic any more … but until the party is genuinely welcome for everyone, we remain on a journey.”

His comments, first reported in Jewish News, come following a survey of the Jewish Labour Movement which shows support for Starmer’s efforts to deal with antisemitism in the party since he became leader.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said “tremendous progress” has been made tackling antisemitism in the Labour Party.

He told Times Radio: “Now, we are not complacent, and we know we always have further to go to confront the poison of antisemitism, but tremendous progress has been made.

“And that is a tribute not just to Keir Starmer but his team around him, his staff and those on the National Executive Committee who have put in place the appropriate new procedures working with Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner on this front.”