THE head of hard-left campaign group Momentum has admitted his own friends spew anti-Semitic bile online.
Jon Lansman, who is Jewish, said left-wing activists he knows have an “unconscious bias” which pushes them towards racist views.
And he added that when Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis flared up earlier his summer, his Facebook feed was filled with bigoted posts from people he knows.
Mr Lansman is a long-standing ally of Jeremy Corbyn who founded Momentum to push hard-left ideas within Labour.
He’s also a member of the party’s governing body and has pushed Mr Corbyn to resolve the anti-Semitism scandal as quickly as possible.
The activist told the Financial Times it was “strange” that so many left-wingers failed to recognise that discriminating against Jews is racist.
He said: “I’ve had times when I’ve woken up and I look at my iPad… there’s one morning I remember, not many weeks ago, when I was just horrified at things on my Facebook page from people who I regarded as friends.”
Mr Lansman added: “I certainly wish people would calm it down. I don’t think there’s any excuse for that kind of thing.”
But he also denied the suggestion that Labour is “absolutely riddled with anti-Semites” andclaimed the scale of the problem is exaggerated.
Much of the anti-Semitic abuse faced by Jewish MPs comes from the far right rather than the extreme left, he added.
Mr Lansman has urged Mr Corbyn to tighten up Labour’s official definition of anti-Semitism at a crucial meeting next week.
The party’s failure to accept the standard international definition sparked a months-long storm which has torn Labour apart.
Yesterday veteran MP Frank Field resigned in protest at the scandal, and more MPs are rumoured to be following.