The reinstatement to the party of a UK Labour member who sits on the Brighton and Hove City Council and who was suspended over allegations she shared anti-Semitic material online has led to outrage among other Labour councillors.
City Councillor Anne Pissaridou was suspended form Labour last year over the allegations, which meant she could not speak on behalf of the local Labour Party or attend meetings.
But with her suspension ending, local Labour politicians are furious, reported the Argus.
Most of the Labour councillors on the council sent a letter to its chief executive asking that when the suspension ends, she not be reinstated to sit among them.
One councillor, North Portslade representative Peter Atkinson, even resigned from Labour over Pissaridou’s readmission.
“This is a truly sad and significant decision for me as I have been a Labour party member for over 40 years, almost all of my adult life. I cannot, however, just sit back and accept what has happened,” he told the Argus.
"Racism of any sort, including anti-Semitism is unacceptable. This is no reflection on the Labour Group, though. They have been vigorous in ensuring that there is no place for anti-Semitism within their ranks.”
Pissaridou was one of three Labour members who were suspended over allegations of online anti-Semitic material.
The other two councillors resigned from Labour and now sit as independents. They had reportedly asked Pissaridou to sit with them as independents but she declined.
When she was suspended, Pissaridou issued an apology.
”I am deeply sorry for my actions and any distress I have caused to the Jewish community,” she said. “This happened several years ago, before I was a councillor, and the posts I shared do not reflect my views. I do not seek to excuse my mistake. I deeply regret not properly reading information before sharing such hurtful links."
The Labour Party has been dealing with a series of anti-Semitic allegations against members for a number of years. Current leader Sir Keir Starmer has made ridding the party of anti-Semitism a plank of his leadership.
As he took hold of the Labour leadership, Starmer stressed: “As I promised on my first day as leader we will root out the anti-Semitism that has infected our party. We’re making progress – and we will root it out, once and for all.”