Labour suspends three councillors over Israel comments

Labour has suspended three councillors over controversial messages posted on social media, in the latest development in a party row over alleged anti-semitism.

Burnley councillor Shah Hussain; Blackburn with Darwen councillor Salim Mulla; and Nottingham City councillor Ilyas Aziz were all suspended pending investigation.

The suspensions come a day after Jeremy Corbyn claimed Labour is "united" in fighting anti-semitism and all forms of racism at a May Day rally.

The row began last week following the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah and highly-controversial comments made by Ken Livingstone linking Hitler and Zionism.

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Naz Shah quits Home Affairs Select Committee role

Naz Shah Credit: PA

Naz Shah, the Labour MP suspended from the party amid accusations of anti-Semitism, has stepped down from the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The Labour MP quit her position as aide to the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell last week after apologising for endorsing a social media post that Israelis should be transported to New York.

The influential committee was already due to investigate antisemitism in the UK.

It also confirmed that David Cameron, Ken Livingstone and Jeremy Corbyn will all be called to give evidence on anti-Semitism in UK.


Labour minister: there is 'clearly' an issue in party

Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell Credit: PA

A shadow cabinet minister has said that there "clearly is an issue with anti-Semitism" within Labour, after the party suspended three councillors in one day.

Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell said a "small element" within the party had a problem, and that it would be "very difficult" to see how Ken Livingstone could return to the party after his comments last week.

There clearly is an issue with anti-Semitism in the Labour Party otherwise we wouldn't have spent the best part of the last six or seven days talking about it.

I think it is a very small element within the Labour Party and probably a small element in wider society as well. And that's why we are taking swift action to root it out.

– Lucy Powell MP

She made the remarks after three councillors were suspended pending investigations into controversial comments on social media.

Labour suspends third councillor

Labour has suspended its third councillor in a day over controversial posts about Israel on social media.

Burnley councillor Shah Hussain has been suspended pending investigation after allegedly telling an Israeli footballer on Twitter "you and your country" are "doing exactly the same thing that Hitler did", referring to violence against Palestinians.

His suspension follows that of Salim Mulli, ex-mayor of Blackburn, and Nottingham City councillor Ilyas Aziz.

Mr Hussain has told the Press Association he will fight the suspension, and added: "If Jewish people find it offensive then I think they need to think about what the rest of the world thinks."

Labour suspends second councillor over Israel comments

Credit: Twitter

Labour has suspended a second councillor amid the party row over alleged anti-semitism.

The suspension of Blackburn with Darwen councillor Salim Mulla, a former mayor of Blackburn, came just hours after the suspension of Ilyas Aziz, a Labour councillor in Nottingham.

The Guido Fawkes website reported that Mr Mulla had shared a message suggesting Israel should be relocated to the US - the same post as Ms Shah which led to her apologising in the Commons and having the whip withdrawn.

Another post, from 2014, apparently showed footage of a Palestinian boy being arrested with a comment from Mr Mulla saying: "Apartheid at its best. Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity."

When asked for comment, Mr Mulla told blogger Guido Fawkes: "It was probably just forwarded to me.

"I don’t agree with Zionism at all. I have very, very many Jewish friends."

Labour councillor suspended over 'Israel social media posts'

Nottingham Council House, where council offices used to be located Credit: PA

Labour has suspended a councillor over social media posts, including a suggestion Israel should be relocated to the United States.

Nottingham City councillor Ilyas Aziz was suspended on Monday pending an investigation in the latest row over alleged anti-Semitic comments to hit the party.

Among Facebook posts appearing on Mr Aziz's account was one highlighted on the Guido Fawkes website.

It read: "Jews and Muslims lived together in the Middle East, in peace pre 1948. Perhaps it would have been wiser to create Israel in America it's big enough. They could relocate even now".

The move comes after Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday insisted the party is "united" in opposing anti-Semitism.

His comments came in the wake of a turbulent week which saw both MP Naz Shah and former London mayor Ken Livingstone suspended.

A Labour spokeswoman said: "Ilyas Aziz has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation."


Corbyn: We stand absolutely against anti-semitism

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn confronted allegations of anti-semitism within his party head on as he addressed a May Day rally today.

He told the crowds: "We stand absolutely against anti-semitism in any form, we stand absolutely against racism in any form."

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.

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