The Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked by Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer for sharing an article containing an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.
A spokesman for the Labour leader said on Thursday;
“This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the shadow cabinet.
“The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”
Ms Long-Bailey was appointed to the position of Shadow Education Secretary in April after Sir Keir Starmer became Labour leader. The MP for Salford and Eccles had run against Sir Keir in the Labour leadership election to replace Jeremy Corbyn but came second in the contest picking up 27.6% of the vote.
Ms Long-Bailey has now become the first shadow cabinet minister to be stood down during Starmer’s time as leader.
The article she had shared on Twitter was an interview with the actress Maxine Peake which contained a claim that US police learnt kneeling on people’s necks “from seminars with Israeli secret services”. Ms Long-Bailey had shared the tweet and said Peake was an “absolute diamond”.
Following her sacking, Ms Long-Bailey tweeted saying “in no way was my retweet an intention to endorse every part of that article.” She said the interview’s “main thrust was anger with the Conservative Government’s handling of the current emergency and a call for Labour Party unity.”
Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has welcomed the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey. In a tweet, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said “Marie van der Zyl thanks @Keir_Starmer for his swift action after Rebecca Long-Bailey retweeted and praised an article containing an antisemitic conspiracy theory “.
Since becoming Labour leader, Keir Starmer has worked to improve relations between the party and the Jewish community. In one of his first actions as Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer wrote to the Board of Deputies of British Jews to reiterate his commitment to stamping out antisemitism within the Labour Party.