Senior Newcastle City Councillor banned from Labour party being found 'guilty of Islamaphobia'

Following the investigation she will now sit as an independent Councillor. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

A Newcastle Councillor has been banned from the Labour party after being found "guilty of Islamophobia."

Joyce McCarty, who was the former deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, was suspended from the party in March over claims of a "Muslim plot" against ally and former council leader Nick Forbes.

The scandal centred on a text message from Cllr McCarty which said she had heard that Forbes's deselection from his Arthur's Hill ward had been planned by councillors in the West End.

In Cllr McCarty's claim, it was in order to get more Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates selected.

An investigation found Cllr McCarty guilty of Islamophobia and banned from the Labour Party for a year.

Though suspended from the party earlier in the year while under investigation, McCarty remained on ballot papers as a Labour candidate in May's local elections.

She was overwhelmingly re-elected in her Wingrove ward.

Following the investigation she will now sit as an independent Councillor.

The Labour Party confirmed she had been "found guilty through investigation of Islamophobia" and has been suspended for 12 months after a disciplinary hearing.

She will not be thrown out of the party for the offence.

The incident follows former leader of the council Nick Forbes suffering defeat in his Arthur's Hill ward to select a candidate for the local elections.

Local party members voted by 13 to four in favour of local activist Abdul Samad over the seasoned councillor.

The former leader alleged an ambush by left-wing members and claimed the selection contest was "manipulated" against him, but decided not to seek re-election in another ward. He has now stepped away from city politics.

In a statement Newcastle Labour said: "We have been notified by the Labour Party's Governance and Legal Unit to advise us that Joyce McCarty has been found guilty through investigation of Islamophobia and is suspended from the Labour Party with immediate effect.

"She will be an independent councillor as of now and will not be entitled to attend any Labour Party activity.

"Newcastle Labour Party condemns any act of hate crime and will act and call out any such behaviour when seen."

A party spokesperson added: "The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."

The 12 month suspension handed to Cllr McCarty will include the four already served since she was suspended in March.

Cllr McCarty has declined to comment on the matter.

She has been a city councillor since 1994, and was Labour's deputy leader in the city from 2007 to 2021, and deputy leader of the council from 2011 to 2021.

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