Labour MP once suspended in anti-Semitism row made shadow equalities minister

Posted On: 
11th July 2018

A Labour MP who was suspended over anti-Semitism claims two years ago has been made a shadow equalities minister.

Naz Shah was suspended for three months in 2016
PA Images

Naz Shah was banned from party activity for three months in 2016 while a series of controversial past social media posts were investigated.

The Bradford West MP, who was elected a year earlier, faced questions over a 2014 Facebook post in which she shared a graphic of Israel appearing to be subsumed into a map of the US, with a caption: "Problem solved."

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A Twitter post later emerged of Ms Shah claiming the “the Jews are rallying” to take over an online poll which asked about Israeli military action in Palestine.

She later claimed to have been “ignorant” of the hatred faced by the Jewish community and vowed to win back their support.

“I wasn't anti-Semitic, what I put out was anti-Semitic,” Ms Shah told the BBC after being reinstated to the party in 2016.

Her appointment is among a number of new additions to Jeremy Corbyn to his frontbench.

Mike Amesbury becomes shadow employment minister, Justin Madders takes on the shadow labour minister role alongside health and social care, while Jo Platt becomes shadow minister for the Cabinet Office.

The Labour leader said: “I am delighted to welcome new colleagues to Labour's frontbench to strengthen our team as we continue to expose the Tories' failings and prepare to form a government that works for the many, not the few.”

A Labour source said of Ms Shah's appointment: “Naz Shah’s unreserved apology demonstrated a full understanding of why her comment was anti-Semitic, and it was welcomed by Jewish groups.

"She has since worked very closely with Jewish community organisations on educating and raising awareness about antisemitism, and she is held up by many as an example of what people should do if they have made an anti-Semitic comment.”