Labour leader Keir Starmer
Labour leader Keir StarmerReuters

For the second time this week, Britain’s Labour Party has suspended a parliamentary candidate over comments he allegedly made about Israel, The BBC reported.

Graham Jones, the former Labour MP for Hyndburn, is also facing an investigation, the network reported.

Jones’ suspension came after the Guido Fawkes website published audio in which Jones allegedly uses an expletive to refer to Israel and argues that British people who fight in the Israel Defense Forces "should be locked up".

The Jewish Labour Movement said Jones' alleged comments were "appalling and unacceptable". The group later said it was "pleased" that Jones had been "swiftly suspended".

Jones’ suspension came days after Labour withdrew support for the party's candidate for the Rochdale by-election, Azhar Ali, for apparently making antisemitic remarks.

Azhar Ali was Labour's candidate for a February 29 by-election in Rochdale, northwest England, but Labour cut ties with him after a recording emerged over the weekend of him suggesting that Israel deliberately allowed Hamas to attack on October 7 in order to justify invading Gaza.

After initially standing by his candidacy following an apology, Labour announced late Monday that it would no longer back his bid to become an MP after "new information about further comments" emerged.

Commenting on the decision to withdraw support for Ali, British Labour leader Keir Starmer said on Tuesday that the party has "changed" since it was plagued by antisemitism.

"Further information came to light yesterday calling for decisive action, so I took decisive action," Starmer told reporters.

"It is a huge thing to withdraw support for a Labour candidate during the course of a by-election. It's a tough decision, a necessary decision, but when I say the Labour Party has changed under my leadership, I mean it," Starmer stated.

The Labour Party came under fire under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, both over Corbyn’s own antisemitism as well as the rise in anti-Jewish rhetoric within the party.

Dozens of Labour members have been suspended over their antisemitic statements in recent years, while the party has been criticized for its failure to deal with the antisemitism within it.

Corbyn stepped down after the Labour Party had its poorest showing since 1935 in the elections. He was later suspended from Labour following the publication of a report which found numerous cases where the party leadership under Corbyn underplayed, belittled or ignored complaints by Jewish members, and sometimes actively interfered to support political allies.

Starmer, who became party leader after Corbyn stepped down, apologized shortly after being elected for how the Labour Party has handled antisemitism within its ranks and committed to making change.

He later committed to setting up an independent complaints process for antisemitism in the party, saying it is “very important to me to seek to address the disgrace of antisemitism in our party as soon as possible.”