Friday 24 January 2020

Labour suspends MP Naz Shah over anti-Semitic comments

Labour MP Naz Shah apologises to the House of Commons
Labour MP Naz Shah apologises to the House of Commons

Joe Churcher

British MP Naz Shah has been suspended by the Labour Party pending an investigation into anti-Semitic social media posts.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had been under huge pressure to take action after initially giving Ms Shah only a reprimand over the comments - made before she was an MP.

A Labour spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary.

"Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed."

Earlier, Ms Shah had offered parliament a profound apology for putting anti-Semitic posts on social media .

The Bradford West MP told the House of Commons she regretted the posts and said she was working with Jewish groups.

Her apology came after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "quite extraordinary" that she had not been disciplined despite Mr Corbyn telling her the remarks were "offensive and unacceptable".

The Labour leader gave Ms Shah a reprimand a day after she apologised and quit as an aide to shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

But he had stopped short of taking any disciplinary action, saying he believed Ms Shah "does not hold these views" despite shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy saying the party faced "real problems" if it did not act.

In a Facebook post in 2014, Ms Shah shared a graphic which showed an image of Israel's outline superimposed on to a map of the US under the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict - Relocate Israel into United States", with the comment "problem solved".

Mr Cameron told the Commons: "Anti-Semitism is racism and we should call it out and fight it wherever we see it."

Irish Independent

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