British Labour reinstates MP suspended over anti-Semitism

Former MP Jim Sheridan reinstated following investigation into comments about Jews made online.

Ben Ariel ,

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

A former MP from the British Labour Party, who was suspended from the party last August over comments made online about the Jewish community, has been reinstated following an investigation, The Independent reports.

Jim Sheridan, a former Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP who is now a councillor in Renfrewshire, said he is “delighted” with the decision and his support for Labour will continue.

The party launched an investigation against Sheridan following a complaint related to a social media post in which he spoke about his loss of “respect and empathy” for the community amid the anti-Semitism row.

In a statement issued on Friday, he reiterated his apology while calling his accusers “misguided”.

“Today I was notified that my suspension from the Labour Party has been lifted with no further action to be taken by the party,” said Sheridan.

“Whilst I am delighted with this decision, I remain of the view that my accusers were misguided and overreacted to what was intended to highlight my personal frustration and criticism of those intent on undermining our leadership in Scotland and the UK.”

“I would also like to reiterate my sincere apologies to the Jewish community whose historic struggle I have supported all my political life,” added Sheridan.

A Labour Party spokesman said, according to The Independent, “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.”

“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

The British Labour party has been embroiled in a series of controversies related to anti-Semitism in recent years. Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders. Corbyn has also been criticized for calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

Corbyn insists he is not an anti-Semite. In a recent interview with the BBC he described anti-Semitism “as a scourge in any society, I have opposed it all my life…I have spent my whole life opposing racism in any form and I will die fighting racism."