From: Michael McGowan, Former Labour MEP for Leeds, Chapel Allerton.
I WISH to apologise for my letter which has caused offence to the Leeds Jewish community (The Yorkshire Post, November 28).
I am sorry and accept that I was wrong to state that Chief Rabbi Mirvis had no knowledge of the Jewish community in Leeds and accept that many people in the Jewish community are genuinely concerned that a Labour government would be a threat to the Jewish way of life and religion.
It is self-evident that I do not speak for the Jewish community, which I have never claimed to do, and only members of the Jewish community can appreciate the hurt and fear caused by increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and across Europe.
Jeremy Corbyn has made clear that there is no place for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party or society and has apologised for mistakes that he and the Labour Party have made.
For the Chief Rabbi to dismiss Corbyn’s efforts to root out anti-Semitism as a “mendacious fiction” is, I believe, extremely unfair.
But the work of the Jewish community in Leeds in building good and safe relations across the city is second to none, and I look forward to continuing to support the Leeds Jewish community to help build a better and more peaceful world.