A senior member of Jeremy Corbyn’s team has said he should apologise to the UK’s Jewish community after the chief rabbi criticised how the party deals with anti-Semitism claims.
Nia Griffith, who was Labour’s defence spokeswoman, said the party’s handling of the issue “is a shame on us”.
She told a BBC Wales election debate the party had not been effective as it should have been in dealing with it.
Earlier, Mr Corbyn declined to apologise.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis claimed “a new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root” in Labour.
In a BBC interview with Andrew Neil, the Labour leader was asked four times whether he would like to apologise.
Mr Corbyn said his government would protect “every community against the abuse they receive”.
Ms Griffith, asked in a TV debate in Pembrokeshire, said: “Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to meet the chief rabbi.
“And I would say absolutely that we need to apologise to our colleagues in my own party who have been very upset but to the whole of the Jewish community as well, that we have not been as effective as we should have been in dealing with this problem.
“It is a shame on us, it really is, and it’s something I’m very, very ashamed of and it’s something we must absolutely put right.”
The BBC Wales Live debate, from Haverfordwest, also had questions from the audience on Brexit, poverty and struggling families, climate change and trust in politicians.
James Wells MEP, for the Brexit Party, said 4,000 food parcels handed out to children doing school holidays in Wales showed there was a problem – and there needed to be review of universal credit and an end to delays. “The roll-out of the universal credit system has been a disaster. It needs to be reformed.” But he said talk of negative effects from a no-deal Brexit was “scare-mongering”.
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Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville-Roberts said Wales was at the bottom of too many league tables – and the party would like to “get to grips” with child poverty – and called for a Welsh children’s allowance of £35 a week.
David TC Davies for the Conservatives said he totally accepted that poverty existed and would never be complacent about it.
“The quickest way out of poverty is to ensure people have got work – and we have the lowest unemployment figures for 40 years and where we’re looking to target tax cuts we’re looking to target those who are the least well off.”
Jane Dodds, for the Liberal Democrats, admitted her party could have done “much more to stand up to the Conservative cuts when we were in coalition” but nine years later we should be looking forward to a vision for the future, with more for schools and a look at universal credit and zero hours contracts.
Ms Griffith said there needed to be a living wage of at least £10 per hour from the age of 16, “so people get money to take home which is realistic,” while universal credit needed to be completely reformed.
What did the politicians say on Brexit?
“Every candidate standing for parliament will support Boris’s excellent deal, it will take us out of the European Union by the end of January, there’ll be no tariffs, no disruption and we can respect the wish of the people of Wales and of the United Kingdom,” said Mr Davies.
But Ms Griffith, who said she would be campaigning for Remain, said it was a bad deal and Labour would negotiate a deal within three months that was “much better for our industry and our farmers” and would be put back to the people within six months.
“We’ve already been having those talks in Brussels…you will be voting on that decision not just on a vague idea of Brexit.”
Ms Dodds said the Lib Dems were the party of Remain. “We think that’s best for Wales, best for our farmers in Wales, our business – we also think it’s about being a country [that is] part of an international body…it’s about playing in a bigger team”
Mr Wells said Wales had voted to leave the EU and the decision had been “frustrated” by politicians in Westminster.
“Do we trust Boris to keep to his promises? If we can get MPs for the Brexit Party into Westminster to hold the Tories into account, we will work with Conservatives to help push through that deal, but we will hold him to account. We won’t be whipped, we’ll be there as independent voices, standing up for you, to make sure he keeps to his promises.”
Ms Saville-Roberts said Plaid had argued consistently for remain. “We all of us know way more about Brexit and the EU more than we did three years ago – it’s been an unfortunate and difficult learning process.
“We are now proposing a second referendum to bring this to a close – and if you never want to talk about Brexit ever again, consider voting remain,” she said.
On climate change, Ms Dodds said politicians needed to work with farmers and landowners to fight climate change and plant trees, as well as looking to invest in the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.
Mr Davies said the Conservatives said they had put forward a plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“It might not be as ambitious as some people want but we don’t want to create a loss of jobs.”
Brexit Party representative Mr Wells says his colleague Nathan Gill was “wrong” in his personal view on whether the climate problem was man-made.
He says we needed to work with the UN and to stop sending plastics overseas to be dealt with.
Ms Saville-Roberts bemoaned the lack of electrified rail in Wales and a cancellation of the tidal lagoon but admitted nuclear was a difficult issue and its policy was “no new sites”.
Ms Griffiths said Labour had a “very, very clear plan and we want to be very bold about tackling climate change” with the use of natural resources to produce clean energy.