New opposition chief immediately apologizes to Jews for anti-Semitism in ranks, vows to ‘tear out this poison’; his wife comes from a Jewish family, has relatives in Tel Aviv.

Iran PressEurope: Britain’s main opposition Labour party on Saturday said that Keir Starmer, 57-year-old former chief state prosecutor, had been elected as its new leader, replacing Jeremy Corbyn who resigned after its crushing December election defeat.

57-year-old Starmer apologized to the Jewish community for what he called it anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks, saying that it a “stain” and pledging to stamp it out.

“We have to face the future with honesty,” he said. “On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry I have seen the grief that anti-Semitism brought to so many Jewish communities.

“I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”

Starmer has previously said he would take action to eliminate prejudice against Jews in his party “on day one” in order to demonstrate “the difference that new leadership will make on the issue.”

He has also said he would look to fully cooperate with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s report into anti-Semitism in the party, which is currently in the works, but that he had no intention of waiting for its results in order to take action.

Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn, a former Labour leader who criticized Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians.

In many Western countries, opposition to Israel is seen as anti-Semitism or anti-Jew.

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