Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has fired his former rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from the Shadow Cabinet after she had shared an article containing an “antisemitic” conspiracy theory.
The Labour Party confirmed that Ms Long-Bailey had been removed from her position as Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
A spokesman told the BBC: “This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the shadow cabinet.
“The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Antisemitism takes many different forms, and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”
Socialist Long-Bailey, who had been groomed by the far-left pressure group Momentum to replace Jeremy Corbyn, had retweeted an interview with actress and Labour supporter Maxine Peake. The Dinnerladies and Shameless star had claimed that police responsible for the death of black America George Floyd had received training from “Israeli secret services”.
In her retweet Maxine Peake’s interview with the left-progressive Independent, the far-leftist politician called the actress “an absolute diamond”.
Labour Leadership Candidate Long-Bailey Says Idea That Britons Rejected Socialism is ‘Bollocks’ https://t.co/lhQMkMogJU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 27, 2020
The Independent article had quoted Ms Peake as saying:
“The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.
(A spokesperson for the Israeli police has denied this, stating that ‘there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway’.)
The online news site, which shuttered its paper edition in 2016 after declining readership, issued an update on Thursday, saying:
This article has been amended to further clarify that the allegation that US police were taught tactics of “neck kneeling” by Israeli secret services is unfounded. The original version did carry a denial from Israeli police, however we are happy to further clarify the matter.
(At the time of publishing this Breitbart London article, the Independent piece still carries the antisemitic claim.)
Long-Bailey, who voters in a poll had described as “Jeremy [Corbyn] in a skirt”, later said that her retweet did not intend “to endorse every part of that article”.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews responded to the issue, saying on Thursday: “We are very concerned to see the Shadow Education Secretary praising the words of someone repeating the conspiracy theory that Israel was responsible for the death of George Floyd. This will not reassure those hoping the years of Labour indulging such conspiracies were over.”
Liberal centrist Sir Keir, who won the party leadership race in April, is now in charge of a party that has been plagued by accusations of antisemitism since Socialist Corbyn took over the left-wing party in 2015. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is currently investigating Labour over allegations of institutional anti-Jewish racism.
Labour Antisemitism Report Found Borderline ‘Neo-Nazis’ in the Party https://t.co/ItUKwGXsF9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 17, 2020