SCOTTISH Labour leader Richard Leonard is under mounting pressure after five shadow cabinet colleagues broke ranks on the growing anti-Semitism row in the wider party.

UK Labour's governing body sparked fury by declining to endorse an internationally agreed definition of anti-Jewish prejudice, but senior MSPs Monica Lennon, Jackie Baillie, Anas Sarwar, Daniel Johnson and Colin Smyth have called for a rethink.

The interventions came amid calls for Leonard, who has said nothing about the toxic row, to break his silence.

Meanwhile, former MP Thomas Docherty has made a formal complaint after Fife Councillor Mary Lockhart suggested that newspaper coverage of the anti-semitism controversy could have been “assisted” by Mossad.

READ: Leonard should stop acting like Corbyn is his boss

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been dogged by claims that some of his supporters are anti-Semitic and that the party has been slow to deal with bigotry allegations.

The row was aggravated when the party’s national executive committee declined to endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism and related sections.

Labour backed the 40-word definition provided by the IHRA, but did not embrace all eleven of the associated examples for its own code of conduct.

In an unprecedented show of unity, three Jewish newspapers published a joint editorial arguing that a Labour Government led by Corbyn would pose an “existential threat to Jewish life” in the UK.

However, with Labour promising to consult further on the new code, Scottish Labour figures want Leonard, a left-wing ally of Corbyn, to show leadership by backing the IHRA definition and all of its examples.

He has so far said nothing on the IHRA controversy and a statement released in the name of the Scottish party endorsed the NEC position.

It stated: “Labour’s National Executive Committee did not reject the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, the code of conduct adopts the IHRA definition and expands on and contextualises its examples to produce robust, legally sound guidelines that a political party can apply to disciplinary cases.

“The Labour Party is continuing to consult with Jewish Groups, organisations and Rabbi's to ensure the code of conduct has the full confidence of the Jewish Community."

But Lennon, who is the the shadow cabinet secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, yesterday backed the full IHRA form of words.

In a Facebook post, she wrote about having a “lengthy and constructive meeting” with representatives of the Jewish community, adding:

“These discussions reinforced my view that the Labour Party should adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and all 11 of its associated examples and further consultation by the NEC provides an opportunity for this.”

She added: “Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard are both committed to fighting antisemitism as is the whole of the Labour Party. I am grateful to Jewish organisations in Scotland for their guidance and willingness to engage with Scottish Labour on our internal review on equality and diversity issues.”

Lennon voted for Corbyn in the 2016 UK leadership contest and is a Leonard loyalist.

HeraldScotland: Labour's Monica Lennon took a bit of persuasion to stand for election

Image: Lennon

HeraldScotland: Anas Sarwar tops the Labour list for Glasgow

Image: Sarwar

Baillie, the shadow cabinet secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, told the Sunday Herald: “The Labour Party has got it badly wrong. The quickest and easiest thing to do is adopt the internationally recognised definition.”

Johnson, the shadow justice secretary, said: “The IHRA definition and the examples are both sensible and clear. They also have the support of the Jewish community. Therefore Labour should adopt the full definition.”

Smyth, who speaks on the Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “There is no place for anti-semitism in the Labour Party. The NEC have said they are reviewing the position and I hope that will lead to them fully adopting the IHRA definition with no omissions.

“No matter how passionate we rightly are in our support for Palestinian cause and their plight, that can never, ever justify crossing a line into anti-Semitism and there should be no ambiguity within our rules over that."

Sarwar, who is Leonard’s shadow Health secretary, was the first member of Leonard’s top team to urge a rethink.

He tweeted: “I can’t believe I actually need to say this. The Labour Party must adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism now. No consultation or discussion required. The party OF equality should be leading the fight FOR equality.”

Leonard’s shadow cabinet has 14 members and the five MSPs amount to nearly 40% of the total.

It is understood an MSP away day is scheduled for next month and the anti-Semitism row is threatening to undermine an event designed to boost morale.

One party source said: “It is inconceivable that Richard could argue against any of the 11 examples. It would be absurd and damaging.”

On Friday, it emerged that Lockhart, a left-winger, had suggested the Israeli intelligence agency could have played a role in the decision of the three Jewish newspapers to publish their editorial.

She wrote: “And if it is a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government pledged to recognise Palestine as a State, it is unacceptable interference in the democracy of Britain.

“Whatever motivates it, and the MPs who exploit it, the Labour Party is neither racist, not anti-Semitic. And the hysterical claims that it is, after inquiries, consultation, rule changes, calm and peaceable statements, should not be permitted to further influence the Party's rules.

“Israel is a racist State. And since the Palestinians are also Semites, it is an ant-Semitic [sic] State. It is time we stopped propitiating.”

Docherty, who was an MP in Fife until 2015, yesterday complained about the comments to party general secretary Brian Roy: “This is clearly an anti-Semitic smear that suggests that British Jews are agents of another country – as set out in the IHRA’s sixth example: Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

“I would be grateful if you could confirm receipt of this letter and I will of course be happy to discuss this complaint with you or one of your staff at your earliest convenience.”

The Lockhart row comes after Dundee Councillor George McIrvine shared a conspiracy theory about the Jewish-owned Rothschild bank on Facebook. He is currently under investigation by the party. It is understood Leonard has also forwarded Lockhart’s comments to Roy.

Scottish Tory MP Paul Masterton said: “Every day that goes by without Leonard speaking out against this abuse is another day that this shameful episode will continue to dog his party.

“For the sake of the Jewish community and his party, Richard Leonard must come out of hiding and tackle this problem head on.”