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How the Labour anti-Semitism row escalated: Timeline of the scandal

Апрель 30, 2016    
How the Labour anti-Semitism row escalated: Timeline of the scandal

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WITH the Labour party embroiled in a deepening anti-Semitism row, here is a look back at how the scandal unfolded this week.

Tuesday April 26: MP Naz Shah under fire for Facebook posts

Bradford West MP Naz Shah was accused of anti-Semitism for a series of Facebook posts, including one suggesting that Israel should be moved to somewhere in America.

In the 2014 Facebook post, she shared an image of Israel superimposed on a US map with the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict — relocate Israel into United States”.

This post, with her comment "problem solved", was shared nine months before Ms Shah defeated George Galloway to win the Bradford West seat in the 2015 election.

Ms Shah resigned as private parliamentary secretary to John McDonnell saying: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused by comments made on social media before I was elected as an MP.”

Wednesday April 27: MP Naz Shah suspended from Labour

In the morning Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Ms Shah’s remarks were offensive but stressed that she had apologised for what he described as “historic” posts.

At midday Ms Shah published a full apology to the Jewish community in the Jewish News saying: “The language I used was wrong. It was hurtful.”

In the afternoon she apologised again to the House of Commons. Just after 4pm a Labour party spokesman said she and Mr Corbyn “mutually agreed” to her suspension.

David Abrahams, a major donor to the Labour Party, withdrew his support and told the Jewish News that he was “appalled by the growth of anti-Semitism” in the party.

Thursday April 28: MP Ken Livingstone suspended from Labour

MP Ken Livingstone defended Ms Shah on BBC radio and claimed that Adolf Hitler supported Zionism before he “went mad and ended up killing six million jews”.

After the show, fellow Labour MP John Mann accosted Mr Livingstone and called him a “Nazi apologist” and “lying racist” amid widespread condemnation for the remarks.

Mr Livingstone then defended himself on the BBC’s Daily Politics show. He said: “A real antisemite doesn’t just hate the Jews in Israel, they hate their Jewish neighbours in Golders Green or Stoke Newington.”

An hour later he was suspended. Jeremy Corbyn denied that the Labour party is in crisis saying: “Where there is any racism in the party… it will be rooted out."

Friday April 29: MP Ken Livingstone refuses to apologise

Mr Livingstone remained defiant and refused to apologise for his comments saying: “How can the truth be an offence — if I had lied that would be offensive."

Five members of Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet support demands for Mr Livingstone to be thrown out the party permanently.

George Galloway also waded into the row by defending the MP's comments about Hitler.


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