Maureen Lipman says Labour's anti-Semitism is pushing her to vote Tory

Anna Mikhailova
The actress Maureen Lipman - Andrew Crowley

Maureen Lipman said anti-Semitism in the Labour party is pushing her to vote for the Conservatives instead.

Asked if she is “becoming a Tory”, the actress, who had been a lifelong Labour voter, said: “I'm getting there. I can't be a Labour supporter any more. I’m a socialist in my heart, but how can I support this lot?”

Ms Lipman, who is Jewish, hit out against the rise of anti-Semitism within the Labour party. She told Peston on Sunday that anti-Semitic tropes fuel the problem.

“If you believe in conspiracy theories," she said. "If you believe all Jews are Zionists and therefore must be hated, if you believe all Jews are Capitalists and therefore must be hated [..] it is terribly easy to jump onto the bandwagon that we are all villains.

“We keep ourselves mostly to ourselves, we contribute. What’s to hate?”

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism rally in April 2018 Credit:  TOLGA AKMEN/ AFP

In an apparent swipe at Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, Ms Lipman said: “It is possible to be anti-racist and anti-Semitic.

“We don’t know with Jeremy whether he's mischievous or naughty, provocative or he is doing it cynically", givingthe example that "he went to the seder night on the wrong night with the wrong people.”

The actress invited Mr Corbyn to come to her new play.:“I’ll take him to Joe Allen’s [restaurant] afterwards, and we’ll thrash out what can be done.”

The comments came two weeks after Ms Lipman attended a rally against anti-Semitism held outside Labour’s headquarters in London, where she called for Mr Corbyn to resign.

Ms Lipman already denounced the Labour party in 2014, after its then-leader, Ed Miliband, supported a Commons motion recognising Palestine as a state.

At the time, she said she would not vote Labour wile Mr Miliband was in charge and would only return to the party when it was once again led by “mensches" - people with integrity and honour.