The embattled Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is likely to be recalled by a powerful House of Commons committee following official complaints by MPs that he gave misleading answers last week to its inquiry into antisemitism in his party.
Corbyn, who faces a leadership challenge from Angela Eagle, looks certain to be hauled back in front of the home affairs select committee after two of its members – one Conservative, the other Labour – complained that some of his answers were inaccurate and misleading.
Late on Saturday, the Labour chairman of the committee, Keith Vaz, confirmed that he had received the two complaints as well as a number of emails raising similar points from members of the public, although he pointed out that some emails from the public had contained complaints that Corbyn had been treated unfairly.
Vaz said: “I have received two letters asking that Jeremy Corbyn be summoned to appear before the committee, as well as other complaints. The committee will consider the matter at its next meeting on Tuesday.”
One of the MPs on the committee who has complained is Tim Loughton, the Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
Sources close to the committee said it was normal for the witness in question to be summoned back if members made demands for a recall and cited their grounds.
One of several complaints is understood to relate to comments Corbyn made about one of his constituents, Paul Eisen. Corbyn told the committee that he had not attended any events involving Eisen after he heard that he was a Holocaust denier, but MPs want to question him further having received what they say is evidence to the contrary.
One Labour MP said: “I was shocked by the answers he gave the committee and I’m not surprised they want to speak to him again. He attended Paul Eisen’s events years after everyone knew about his Holocaust denial.”
At last week’s hearing, Corbyn told MPs investigating accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party that he regretted once calling members of Hamas and Hezbollah “friends”.
The Labour leader said he had used the phrase to describe the militant groups during a meeting in parliament in 2009. “The language I used at that meeting was actually here in parliament and it was about encouraging the meeting to go ahead, encouraging there to be a discussion about the peace process,” he said.
This article was written by Toby Helm Political editor, for theguardian.com on Sunday 10th July 2016 00.37 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010