ALASTAIR PG WELSH (HAS, Dec 3) states that the Labour Party “has demonstrated... that it is institutionally racist”.

It has not. Certainly, much of the anti-Semitic abuse, particularly on social media, directed at Jewish MPs has been appalling, and if the culprits are proven to be Labour members, they should be expelled. Even one anti-Semite in Labour is one too many.

No one is denying that there is anti-Semitism within Labour. But it is simply not true that anti-Semitism in the party is “rife” or “institutional”, or that it is more widespread in the Labour Party than in any other party, or in society at large.

Such has been the media attention on this issue that a recent survey found that, on average, people estimate that 34 per cent of Labour members have been subjected to complaints of anti-Semitism. The actual figure is less than a tenth of one per cent.

Mr Welsh also suggests that the supposed increase in anti-Semitism in Labour began with the influx of new members when Corbyn became leader. The opposite is true.

YouGov surveys in 2015 and 2017 showed that anti-Semitic attitudes among Labour voters have declined since Corbyn became leader, and remain significantly higher among Tory voters.

A new YouGov survey is now being spun to suggest higher levels of anti-Semitism on the left. This is entirely false. The new survey differs significantly from the previous two in that it asks additional questions about attitudes to Israel, rather than to Jews.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a tireless campaigner against racism and anti-Semitism, but at the same time a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights.

Some regard these two positions as incompatible, and that is the root of the problem.

Pete Winstanley, Durham