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Antisemitism blamed by local Labour leader for failing to make gains in Barnet

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The Conservatives have gained control of Barnet LBC from a state of no overall control despite a concerted campaign by Labour to win the borough for the first time since its inception in 1964.

Labour fell just two seats short of the Conservatives in 2014 but failed to build on that result from four years ago.

Labour group leader Barry Rawlings told Sky News that the antisemitism row within the party had “an effect” but added: “It probably had an effect two years ago when Ken Livingstone wasn’t dealt with.”

The lost opportunity to make gains was despite attempts by the local Labour party to counteract the antisemitism row within the party by fielding a number of Jewish candidates including a rabbi which Cllr Rawlings hoped to show the party was “representative of the local community”.

He said “inaction” among the party’s national leadership to tackle antisemitism within the party had “made a difference and made it very bad for us”.

“I have some hope for the future but there has been inaction and a lot of faffing around,” said Cllr Rawlings.

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