Wed, 21 April 2021

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Labour suspend councillor who claimed Mossad plotting to stop Jeremy Corbyn winning election

Labour suspend councillor who claimed Mossad plotting to stop Jeremy Corbyn winning election
2 min read

Labour has suspended a councillor who suggested that the Israeli secret service was plotting to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.

Mary Bain Lockhart made the accusation after three Jewish newspapers published a joint front page article condemning Labour over anti-Semitism.

According to The Courier, the Fife councillor wrote on Facebook: "If the purpose is to generate opposition to anti-Semitism, it has backfired spectacularly.

"If it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, it is unlikely to succeed, and is a shameless piece of cynical opportunism.

"And if it is a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government pledged to recognise Palestine as a state, it is unacceptable interference in the democracy of Britain."

Labour sources have confirmed that Ms Lockhart has now been suspended pending an investigation.

A party spokesperson said: "The Labour party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms. All complaints about anti-Semitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."

Speaking after Ms Lockhart's comments first came to light, Paul Masterton, the Conservative MP for East Renfrewshire, said: "For a Scottish Labour councillor to claim that Britain's leading Jewish newspapers, and by extension the British Jews who work for them, are acting as agents for the Israeli secret service to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Number 10 is ignorant, offensive and horrifying. 

“These comments are totally unacceptable and demonstrate precisely why the Jewish community has lost so much faith in Labour. There can no longer be any complacency within Scottish Labour that their party's issues with anti-Semitism stop at the border.

"There should be no doubt that Ms Lockhart's remarks are anti-Semitic and demonstrate that she is unfit to hold public office."

Another Labour councillor was suspended last Friday for sharing a Facebook post claiming Jews drink blood and sexually abuse children.

The party has been mired in a fresh anti-Semitism row since its ruling national executive upheld a decision not to fully endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of the problem, alongwith its list of illustrative examples.

That led to Labour MP Margaret Hodge calling Jeremy Corbyn "an anti-Semitic racist", while fellow backbencher Ian Austin had an altercation with party chairman Ian Lavery.

Both MPs are now the subject of disciplinary investigations.

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