Labor Party chief Keir Starmer
Labor Party chief Keir Starmerצילום: רויטרס

The week before local elections, the UK Labour Party has suspended 16 people at the municipal level in two regions over antisemitism complains.

The members suspended include nine current councillors and seven party activists in the Peterborough Labour Party and the North West Cambridgeshire Constituency Local Party, reported the Jewish Chronicle.

One suspended councillor, Ansar Ali, is accused of writing in 2014 that he was boycotting the BBC because it “didn’t want to upset the Zionist Israeli government lobby” and also of writing, “It appears to me the Israeli Zionists have control over the UN and the governments of USA, UK, Europe and most of the Muslim countries apart from the brave Palestinians in Gaza. They are showing the world they will not bow down to Israeli Zionist terrorism.”

He is also accused of posting violent antisemitic caricatures.

Another councillor, Mohammed Jamil, allegedly reposted a comment in 2014 which using a swear word told Zionists and “those who support them” to “rot in hell.”

“The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken,” a Labour Party spokesperson told the Jewish Chronicle. “We are determined to root out all forms of antisemitism from our party and it is testament to our commitment to zero tolerance that we will not be influenced by an election timetable.”

The Labour Party is also being questioned by Jewish groups for letting several candidates stand for election who were either previously suspended for antisemitism or accused of endorsing antisemitic online statements.