Fresh Labour anti-Semitism row after leading activist re-instated to party

Posted On: 
28th May 2016

Labour was today hit by a fresh anti-Semitism row after an activist who said "Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade" was re-instated to the party after a probe.

Labour has been hit by a string of anti-Semitism rows
Credit: 
PA Images

Jackie Walker was suspended earlier this month after the comment, which she made on Facebook, came to light.

In a conversation on the site, Ms Walker asked: "What debt do we owe the Jews?"

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When a fellow user replied "the Holocaust", Ms Walker - who claims to be part-Jewish - said: "I hope you feel the same towards the African holocaust? My ancestors were involved in both. Many more Africans were killed in the African holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale ina way it doesn't for Jews. And many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade."

At the time of her suspension, Ms Walker - who is vice-chair of South Thanet Labour party in Kent and a senior official in the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum - said she had been "an active anti-racist trainer and campaigner for years, often in all white communities and in the most vulnerable situations".

In a statement this morning, a Labour spokeswoman said: "Following the outcome of an investigation,  Jacqueline Walker is no longer suspended and remains a member of the Labour party." 

The decision sparked an angry reaction from many Labour members, including elected politicians.

But there was also support for Ms Walker.

ANTI-SEMITISM INQUIRY

Human rights lawyer Shami Chakirbarti is currently leading an inquiry into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism in the Labour party.

The probe was organised following a string of anti-Semitic incidents involving party members.

Ken Livingstone was suspended from the party after comments he made arguing Hitler was a Zionist “before he went mad and murdered six million Jews”.

The former Mayor of London was trying to defend Bradford West MP Naz Shah, who was suspended over a series of Facebook posts about Israel.