A former Barnet councillor who was ousted by the Tories has gained the backing of the Labour leadership in tackling anti-Semitism.

Adam Langleben, who lost his seat in West Hendon to the Conservatives on May 3, met with shadow chancellor John McDonnell and former East Barnet councillor Phil Cohen on Tuesday evening to discuss the results of the local election.

He said the shadow chancellor admitted the Labour defeat in Barnet was a result of the anti-Semitism scandal that had recently dogged the party.

Mr Langleben said: “It was a good meeting. He said that he and Jeremy [Corbyn] should come to Barnet and probably issue an apology.

“He understands left-wing anti-Semitism and pledged to call out fake news websites.

“He gets it – but there are probably a few more who do not.”

Mr Langleben also clarified his previous comments that he had been uninvited from a Labour Party meeting on anti-Semitism, saying it was a separate event and the two meetings had been confused.

The former councillor for West Hendon had called for Mr Corbyn to visit the borough and apologise to the Jewish community. 

He said anti-Semitism was the major factor in a local election result that saw the Tories re-take overall control of the council with a 13-seat majority on May 4.

Mr Langleben denied claims from some left-wing factions within the Labour Party that the West Hendon regeneration project and a failure to focus on problems in the council’s outsourcing schemes lay behind Labour’s defeat.

Mr Langleben said: “Mr Corbyn has got to come to Barnet and apologise to the Jewish community. They felt Labour were hostile.

“I do not think he understands left-wing anti-Semitism. Everyone can agree anti-Semitism is wrong – I would expect him to say that. But there is a disconnect between what he says and what the majority of Jews see.

“Jeremy Corbyn understands the issue when it comes from the far right, but he doesn’t understand it when he emanates from the far left.

“Young activists didn’t know whether the next door they knocked on they would be accused of being racist. They deserve a sincere apology.”

Mr Langleben rejected a suggestion he had heard from Momentum members that the regeneration of the West Hendon estate – which saw some poorer members of the community, who may have voted Labour, moved to other regions – helped swing the result.

He also rejected claims from Barnet Momentum Steering Committee that Labour’s failure to focus on the alleged failures of the Capita outsourcing deal cost the party votes.

“They are trying to make the argument that we are not far-left enough. That is not true,” Mr Langleben said. “Every single candidate who knocked on doors and canvassed is able to give examples of Jewish Labour voters saying ‘we will not vote for you this time’.

“The number of Jewish voters who did not vote for us exceeds the majorities the Tories got, with the exception of Hale.

“We lost in Hendon Central – not on the estates.”