Labour has suspended a member of its own governing body, who is running for leader of a major British union, for saying that a Conservative Party minister of Indian heritage should be “deported” in reaction to the attempted detention of illegal aliens in Scotland.
Howard Beckett is a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and the assistant general secretary of the Unite union. He is a candidate in the leadership race for Unite, as the current chief, Len McCluskey, is set to step down later this year.
On Thursday, as immigration officials from the Home Office, which is headed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, attempted to remove two foreign nationals living in the country illegally, Mr Beckett tweeted in now-deleted messages, according to The Guardian: “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees. She can go along with anyone else who supports institutional racism. She is disgusting.”
London-born Priti Patel is the daughter of Ugandan-Indians who came to the United Kingdom in the 1960s before dictator Idi Amin deported all Indian-heritage people from Uganda.
The newspaper reported that Beckett had been suspended, with Labour saying in a statement: “The Labour party takes these allegations extremely seriously and appropriate action will be taken.”
Sky News said it understands that Beckett had also been reported to the police for hate crimes, while party disciplinary procedures would be started shortly.
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Half an hour after the remarks were shared on Twitter, the union leader candidate deleted the post, writing afresh on the social media platform that his call to deport Ms Patel “was never intended to be literal”.
“My intention was to emphasise that racist policies should be rejected & have no place in society. The wording was wrong, offensive & I apologise unreservedly to Priti Patel. No one should be deported.”
The Labour figure then appeared to excuse his call to deport Patel by saying at the time of posting the message he was “angry to see Muslim Refugees being deported on the morning of Eid Al Fitr”, the Islamic holy day, adding: “We are seeing appalling institutional racism again and again from the supposed pillars of the British elite. Our society should have no place for racism, at all.”
Beckett claimed that he had received “no official notification” from the Labour Party regarding a suspension, defiantly telling Sky News on Friday that he was not pulling out of the race to head Unite, and was “very much in the race, that will not be changing”.
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The broadcaster went on to explain that Beckett is considered the ‘heir apparent’ of current Unite boss and hard-leftist McCluskey. The union is one of the Labour Party’s largest donors. Shadow Cabinet sources suggested to The Times that the swift process was Sir Keir Starmer’s attempt to remove the influence of McCluskey from Unite, saying: “Starmer has kicked out Len’s right hand man. After a rough week, a reminder that Keir is quietly removing the cold dead hand of Len McCluskey from the Labour Party.”
On Thursday, immigration officials attempted to detain two illegals from India following a raid in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow, Scotland, before some 200 neighbours and protesters surrounded the Immigration Enforcement van, preventing it from leaving.
Police Scotland eventually intervened, only to order the release of the two migrants “in order to protect the safety, public health and wellbeing of all people involved in the detention and subsequent protest”.
The leader of Scotland’s devolved parliament, Nicola Sturgeon — from the europhile, open-borders, left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) — criticised the Home Office for conducting the raid during Eid “in the heart of our Muslim community”.
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