Labour is no worse than any other party when it comes to anti-Semitism, Shami Chakrabarti has claimed, adding that her report is more respected within the Party because she is an “insider”.The Shadow Attorney General said the debate on anti-Semitism has been “weaponised”, which she suggested was part of a wider “civil war” within Labour.Baroness Chakrabarti, whose report was branded a “whitewash” by critics after clearing the Party of anti-Semitism, said she had no regrets about announcing her affiliation to Labour while presiding over the review.Speaking at the Oxford Union on Wednesday night, she said: “The problem that I was asked to look at was a problem inside our party. Shami Chakrabarti (centre) takes her seat in the House of LordsCredit:PA Labour party leader Jeremy CorbynCredit:PA “I thought it was quite important that there were people in the Labour Party, some of whom needed to change their conduct, their behaviour and their attitudes, knew that it was coming from an insider.”She added: “It’s too easy to diminish criticism as coming from the outside or from someone who is politically suspect, and I have finished my cross party job, I was going to do this anyway, and my view was that change has to come from within.” Show more Ms Chakrabarti, former director of Liberty, the civil liberties group, was asked by Jeremy Corbyn to look into claims of anti-Semitism in Labour after the suspension of Naz Shah, an MP, and Ken Livingstone, a former London mayor.The report, which Ms Chakrabarti published in the summer, found the party was not overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism, but there was an “occasionally toxic atmosphere”.Addressing an audience of around 200 students in the Oxford Union debate chamber, she said: “By the way, I don’t believe that Labour is much worse than any other party, but I’m not getting into the competition.” She went on: “I’m saying to my fellow Labour Party members, there’s some work to do here. And I’m saying it in a moment when I know that the debate is to some extent weaponised.“People within any political party, and I’ve been learning this in recent times as a new member of a political party, will hunker down and say that every criticism is from the outside, every criticism is from an opponent, because that’s what people do, in a civil war, or where there’s a war going on.”Earlier this year it emerged that Jeremy Corbyn had given Ms Chakrabarti, civil liberties campaigner, a peerage weeks after she published a report that cleared the Labour Party of anti-Semitism. Chakrabarti addressed around 200 Oxford University students on Wednesday nightCredit: Andrew Matthews The decision by Mr Corbyn to offer a peerage to Ms Chakrabarti so near to the publication of her report was described as “appalling” by Labour MP John Mann. Last month, Wes Streeting MP called on the Labour peer to set out clearly when she was made aware that her name was on a longlist of peers drawn up by Mr Corbyn and when the Labour leader first spoke to her about the honour.It came after claims that Baroness Chakrabarti was aware that she could be given a peerage before she was invited to investigate allegations of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in the party.The shadow attorney general has strongly denied the claims and a spokesman for Mr Corbyn has said the first conversation between the pair about the peerage came after the report was concluded. By the way, I don’t believe that Labour is much worse than any other party, but I’m not getting into the competitionShami Chakrabarti Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
“By the afternoon it will be into the Midlands and towards London with some hail and thunder. Northern and eastern areas will stay sunniest and it will be quite blustery as well, with some gale-force gusts in the west.”In Devon a gust of 55mph was measured in Chivenor, while 52mph was recorded on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.Three men had to be rescued from the sea off Studland Bay, also in Dorset, after they got into difficulty in a dinghy. High winds, which reached 76mph at Mumbles Head on Swansea Bay, caused disruption on the rail network across Wales and the Midlands.Meanwhile, police forces across England and Wales reported gales had brought down trees and blown branches into roads, blocking some routes for motorists.High winds caused the M4 to close in both directions between junctions 41 and 42, Traffic Wales said. The stormy conditions were expected to have eased by rush hour on Monday morning, although some rain and gusty winds and some snow will continue. @CumbriaCrack A595 near mealsgate pic.twitter.com/Pb2KZAQopy— Liam James ⚡️ (@liam_lovell) March 3, 2019 More than a dozen flood alerts are in place across the south-west, as well as two flood warnings, ahead of a fresh band of rain.Met Office forecaster Emma Smith said: “By six o’clock on Monday the centre of Storm Freya will be out over the North Sea.”There will still be outbreaks of rain, sleet and snow just clipping the coast by Newcastle and southern Scotland.”Thereafter into Monday there will be plenty of sunshine around, then we will get a band of showery rain moving in from the south-west.”That’s going to be moving across Devon and Cornwall first and moving into Wales and Northern Ireland through the morning. Snow in #Cumbria with a bit of thunder thrown in. #spring is here! #westcoast #snow #northwest #Weather just being…..weather 😊 pic.twitter.com/bmfj9KLta4— Trace W (@White_Rabbit969) March 3, 2019 A couple attempt to shelter from the weather on the promenade in BrightonCredit:PA The trio were left “cold and wet but uninjured” after they managed to clamber onto a yacht that was at anchor, according to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.Heavy rain has already hit Scotland on Sunday, with 34mm falling in Kinlochewe in the northwest Highlands.In Shapp, Cumbria 22mm of rain was recorded and 18mm fell in Mona, which is on the island of Anglesey in Wales.The A465 was closed on Sunday between Glynneath and Rhigos due to flooding, according to Traffic Wales. Storm Freya has battered Britain as gales, heavy rain and snow caused widespread travel disruption.A yellow warning for wind was put in place until 6am on Monday as gusts of up to nearly 80mph whipped a large swathe of the country, with downed trees and debris causing power cuts and affecting travel.The Met Office had also issued a yellow warning for snow until 2am as heavy falls hit high routes across the Pennines, stranding motorists on the A595 in Cumbria.At Spadeadam, near the Northumbria border, 2.4 inches of snow was recorded on Sunday night, while Cumbria Police said hazardous conditions were being reported across the county and urged motorists not to travel unless necessary.One motorist said there was “chaos” on the A595, tweeting: “Shocked at how bad it is! Major problems in Cumbria due to the snow! Very severe.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.