Labour suspends ex-MP after Facebook post saying Jewish community 'plotting' to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM
Former Labour MP Jim Sheridan has been suspended after a post on his Facebook page said he had lost "respect and empathy" for Jewish people over the party's anti-Semitism row.
Labour has faced heavy criticism in recent weeks over a decision by its ruling body not to fully adopt an internationally-agreed definition of anti-Semitism along with all of its examples of anti-Jewish abuse.
The party has since reopened talks on the code after an outcry from Jewish groups and a string of its own MPs.
But the social media post appears to show Mr Sheridan, who served as MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire until 2015 and is now an elected councillor for the party, accusing the "Jewish community" of plotting to stop a Labour government.
The post reads: "For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering.
"No longer due to what they and their blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical labour government."
Labour sources confirmed that Mr Sheridan had been suspended following the post.
A party spokesperson meanwhile said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.
"All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."
Mr Sheridan's comments drew swift condemnation from Labour MP Ian Austin, a longstanding critic of the way his party has dealt with allegations of anti-Semitism.
The MP hit out at the "disgusting" remarks, and urged Unite union chief Len McCluskey to intervene. Mr Sheridan is the former chair of the union's group of MPs.
'BREAKDOWN OF TRUST'
The fresh row came as Labour MP Lisa Nandy warned of a "complete breakdown of trust" in the party over its handling of the anti-Semitism controversy.
“It’s really hard to understand how we got to this point,” she told the Financial Times.
"Until there is a laying down of arms this will continue. What would be incredibly useful is if we could have those messages coming from the very top of the party.
"I think if Jeremy were to come out and do that he would find very strong support from me and other people."
It has been reported this week that the Labour leadership is preparing to back down and adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, provided that additional protections allowing criticism of Israeli policy can be added.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has meanwhile warned Labour MPs not to "exploit" the battle with anti-Semitism to justify breaking away and forming a new party.