The Labour Party should have done more to tackle anti-Semitism within its ranks, its equalities spokesperson has said.

Naz Shah, who is standing as a candidate in Bradford West, made the admission in an interview with the BBC following an article in The Times by the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, in which he said that "the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety" at the thought of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

The chief rabbi wrote that a poison had taken root in the party and that the leadership's response had been "utterly inadequate." Labour "can no longer claim to be the party of equality and anti-racism," he concluded, urging people to "vote with their conscience" in next month's election.

Responding to the comments, Ms Shah told BBC News: "We should have dealt with this, we should have communicated more, we should have had - the things that Jeremy (Corbyn) has put into place since Jennie Formby has come in - those should have been put in place much, much sooner and we should have been on top of this a lot earlier to rebuild that faith and trust within the Jewish community, and we didn't, which is why we find ourselves in the position that we do today."

She added: "The bottom line is ... we haven't been as good as we could be, we need to get better even today. We could do things differently, we do need to do much better at it and that means listening and that means responding accordingly to the Jewish community.

"It is not acceptable that the Jewish community does not feel that the Labour Party is its natural home as a minority community. Here we are on the launch of a race and faith manifesto, we want to be the party that will absolutely eradicate discrimination."

Ms Shah was herself suspended from the Labour Party in 2016 over anti-Semitic online comments made before she became an MP. She was reinstated later that year.

Other candidates standing in Bradford West are Mohammed Afzal (Conservative), Azfar Bukhari (independent), Mark Christie (Liberal Democrat), John Hodgson (Brexit Party) and Darren Parkinson (Green).

The Muslim Council of Britain released a statement supporting the Chief Rabbi's comments but adding that Islamophobia in the Conservative Party should also be recognised.

A spokesman said: "Today's statement by the Chief Rabbi highlights the real fear many British Jews have, regarding the unacceptable presence of anti-Semitism in Britain and in politics today.

"Racism wherever it comes from - whether from the left or the right - is unacceptable and not enough is being done. We agree with the Chief Rabbi's observation that 'some politicians have shown courage but too many have sat silent'.

"Muslims are a diverse community and realise different Muslims will make up their own minds on who to vote for. But the way that the Chief Rabbi had shared his experiences and insights has highlighted the importance of speaking out on the racism we face, whilst maintaining our non-partisan stance.

"As a faith community, we commonly are threatened by Islamophobia. This an issue that is particularly acute in the Conservative Party, who have approached Islamophobia with denial, dismissal and deceit.

"It is abundantly clear to many Muslims that the Conservative Party tolerate Islamophobia, allow it to fester in society and fail to put in place the measures necessary to root out this type of racism. It is as if the Conservative Party has a blind spot for this type of racism."