Upon his election as Labour leader last year, Sir Keir Starmer pledged to eradicate anti-Semitism, how disappointing he must be to the Jewish community.
Cases of anti-Semitism along with the piled up cases of alleged anti-Semitism was placed at the foot of the former leader Jeremy Corbyn as if he was personally responsible for the comments made on social media himself. The now buried #LabourLeaks showed how some within the party weaponised peoples comments to give a negative impression on Corbyn, however, here we are a year on, this is clearly Sir Keir Starmer’s issue and yet another broken promise he made.
More than half of the Labour Party’s Peterborough councillors suspended over alleged anti-Semitism.
The Labour party has been forced to suspended 16 members in the Peterborough and the North West Cambridgeshire Constituency Local Party over complaints of anti-Semitism, a figure which includes nine sitting councillors and seven activists.
Seven of the party’s elected representatives have been suspended just weeks after two other councillors had the Labour whip withdrawn. It means nine of the party’s 17 councillors in Peterborough have been suspended over the past month.
A party spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that the party had taken the decision to suspend the 14 individuals following complaints about antisemitic conduct.
They added that they have taken the action now ahead of the May 6 election as part of the leadership’s “determination to root out all forms of antisemitism form our party and it is testament to our commitment to zero tolerance that we will not be influenced by an election timetable.”
It is understood that among those administratively suspended by the party and facing investigation into allegations including antisemtism are Councillor Ansar Ali, Richard Stargward, Cllr Angus Ellis, Colin and Linda Watson, Cllr Samantha Hemraj, Kit Hubback, Cllrs Mahboob Hemraj , Cllr Shabina Qayyum, Cllr Aasiayah Joseph and Cllr Mohammed Jamil from Peterborough CLP.
Those suspended from North Cambridgeshire CLP included Janet Armstrong and Jonathan Orchard.
Labour said they would not be commenting further on the investigations into allegations of antisemitism at this time.
As revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph, Labour recently suspended Cllrs Ed Murphy (Ravensthorpe) and Heather Skibsted (Orton Longueville) while it investigates complaints made against the pair, although the nature of the complaints were not revealed.
That means in total, nine of the party’s 17 councillors have been administratively suspended in the past month.
Leader of the council’s Labour group, Cllr Shaz Nawaz, declined to comment when approached by the PT.
Peterborough Labour has in recent years had issues with antisemitism after it previously selected a council election candidate – Alan Bull – despite allegedly knowing he had been accused of denying the Holocaust.
Mr Bull has always denied being antisemitic and has called on the Labour Party to “correct the record and apologise for misrepresenting my character and causing considerable distress to my family and me”.
Moreover, former Labour MP Lisa Forbes, standing in Fletton & Woodston in next week’s elections, apologised after she liked a post on Facebook that described Theresa May keeping her “Zionist Slave Masters agenda alive”.
The Peterborough Today local news outlet also revealed this week alleged antisemitic posts from sitting Conservative councillor Mohammed Nadeem (North) and two former party candidates (Muhammad Ikram and Haq Nawaz) which were criticised by the Jewish Leadership Council.
For many people one thing is clear, they want to show support solidarity and empathy for an oppressed people, the Palestinians.
Many would argue the word Zionist is not antisemitic, after all, the UN labelled Zionism and zionist as racist not so long ago United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted on 10 November 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), “determined that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination “
The determination that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, contained in the resolution, was revoked in 1991 with UN General Assembly Resolution 46/86 however I have yet to read the term is antisemitic.
If any form of expression or words when trying to identify the oppression carried out on the Palestinian people is deemed antisemitic within the Labour party then soon there will be no Labour party