Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of a “permanent denial” of anti-Semitism after he released a statement on Tuesday about his suspension from the Labour party.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Corbyn acknowledged that concerns around anti-Semitism in Labour were not "exaggerated" just weeks after being suspended for saying the problem was "dramatically overstated".
The former Labour leader had the whip withdrawn and was suspended from the party last month over his response to a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report.
Following the statement on Tuesday, several MPs and public figures criticised Corbyn for issuing the “non-apology”.
In this statement there is neither a full apology or an acceptance of the findings & recommendations of the EHRC report.
It was Corbyn that created this mess. Yet he still refuses to take responsibility and apologise.
The seemingly permanent denial continues. https://t.co/oQ3iyH3AUC
— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) November 17, 2020
Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, accused him of refusing to “take responsibility and apologise”.
Hodge tweeted: “In this statement there is neither a full apology or an acceptance of the findings & recommendations of the EHRC report.
“It was Corbyn that created this mess. Yet he still refuses to take responsibility and apologise. The seemingly permanent denial continues.”
While the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Marie van der Zyl called on the Labour Party to reject Corbyn's "pathetic non-apology".
She said: "If the party wants to show it is serious about tackling anti-Jewish racism, it will consign this statement, just like the culture which led to the EHRC's damning findings, to the dustbin of history.
Watch: Corbyn takes back controversial anti-Semitism comments in statement
"To do otherwise would be a failure of leadership which would risk the party slipping backwards."
While Campaign Against Antisemitism chief executive Gideon Falter said: "Mr Corbyn's statement today seeks to recast his comments gaslighting the Jewish community when the EHRC's report into Labour anti-Semitism was released.
"This is a desperate attempt to have his suspension lifted and reveals that he still believes that suspensions are something that happen on the whim of the leader as it did during his tenure, and not as a result of any due process."
MPs and activists loyal to Corbyn have campaigned for him to be reinstated since his suspension.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that people who believed it was "exaggerated, or a factional attack" were "part of the problem" and "should be nowhere near the Labour Party either".
Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) is set to meet on Tuesday to discuss Corbyn’s suspension.
An NEC panel will decide whether to take further disciplinary action or to lift his suspension.