JEREMY CORBYN should not have been suspended for disagreeing with Keir Starmer on the extent of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Starmer should have more respect for his former leader, lionized by the mass membership until a few months ago.

Jeremy is correct to say that the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was “dramatically overstated”.

As a councillor, I know many Labour Party members and not one of them is anti-Semitic.

Most grassroots Labour members regard themselves as socialists. And, for socialists, in theory at least, equality for all humankind is the ultimate ideal.

There is often a confusion between anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiments, which are by no means identical.

Many Labour supporters, for example, are opposed to the policies of the Israeli government towards the West Bank, but this does not make them anti-Semitic.

In short, while an anti-Israel stance is legitimate, anti-Semitism (hostility or prejudice against Jewish people) is unequivocally racist.

This unnecessary row between Starmer and Corbyn is set to split Labour asunder just when, for once, they had the Tories on the ropes.

Steve Kay, East Cleveland Independent, Redcar & Cleveland Council.