"Prejudice and poison" have no place in British politics, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday, as his Labour Party looks into claims of anti-Semitism among some of its members.
"There is no place for anti-Semitism of any sort. I detest that prejudice and poison. We should make sure it's rooted out of the Labour Party in whatever way we can," Blair, who was prime minister from 1997 to 2007, told CNBC from the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference in California.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has established an independent inquiry into the accusations, which have led to the suspension of some party members, The Guardian reported Friday. Naz Shah, a member of Parliament, was suspended last week for 2014 Facebook posts, one of which appeared to endorse a plan to move Israel to the United States.
Shah last week told the House of Commons that she "deeply regrets" the posts, which were made before she was elected.
Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London, was also suspended for remarks linking Adolf Hitler to Zionism, The Guardian said. In announcing the review, Corbyn said the Labour Party "has a long and proud history of standing against racism."
In an interview with the Evening Standard on Friday, Livingstone defended his remarks, saying "everything" he said was true.
On Tuesday, Blair said the party cannot have "any suspicion" of racism. He called on leaders to let the inquiry run its course.
The former prime minister also addressed the U.K.'s possible exit from the European Union, a decision some economists and officials say could damage the economy. The British people will vote on whether to exit in June.
Blair said he believes Britain will make the "rational" decision and stay in the bloc. However, he noted that "politics is in an uncertain state."