Naz Shah suspended by Labour over anti-Semitic Facebook posts
Naz Shah has been suspended by the Labour party after a second meeting with Jeremy Corbyn about anti-Semitic material she shared on social media.
It comes after the Labour leader faced mounting calls from frontbenchers and others to suspend the Bradford West MP after she shared a Facebook post suggesting Israelis should be “relocated” to the USA.
Labour confirmed that the pair “mutually agreed” Ms Shah should relinquish the party whip while general secretary Iain McNicol conducts a probe into the claims.
Earlier Mr Corbyn spoke to Ms Shah and called her actions “offensive and unacceptable”, but there was initially no suggestion from the leader’s office that the whip would be withdrawn.
In a statement, a Labour spokesperson confirmed Ms Shah’s suspension: “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.”
Ms Shah has apologised and initially resigned as parliamentary private secretary to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell when the allegations first surfaced.
She used a point of order in the Commons to state her “deep sorrow” for her actions and to “wholeheartedly apologise” to the House.
“I accept and understand that the words I used caused upset and hurt to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that,” she said.
“Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop.”
Speaking before the announcement, David Cameron said it was "frankly extraordinary" Ms Shah is "still in receipt" of the Labour whip.
Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy also told the Daily Politics that the leadership should follow the party’s policy and suspend Ms Shah.
“We have a policy that people who make anti-Semitic remarks are suspended and an investigation Is carried out…I have made clear to the leaders’ office my view that that policy ought to be followed without exception,” she said.
It has also been reported that the Labour leadership team removed references to 'anti-Semitism' in an apology issued my Ms Shah.
Meanwhile, Labour former London Mayor Ken Livingstone defended Ms Shah on LBC Radio, arguing: "I don’t think her comments were anti-Semitic."
But Labour backbencer John Woodcock said it "shames me to be in the same party as someone who thinks it's OK to make that kind of remark," adding: “We have a real problem with anti-Semitism.”