LONDON (AP) – British Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer fired a top legislator on Thursday for sharing a social media article with what Starmer called “ an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. ”
Starmer said he asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down as a party education spokesperson.
Earlier, Long-Bailey tweeted a link to a newspaper interview with actress Maxine Peake, who called the actress “ an absolute diamond. ”
In the interview with The Independent, Peake called systemic racism a global problem, saying that “the tactics police used in America to kneel on George Floyd’s neck” were learned from seminars with Israel’s intelligence agencies.
Labor said in a statement that “the article Rebecca told earlier today contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”
As a leader of the Labor Party, Keir made it clear that restoring trust in the Jewish community is a top priority. Anti-Semitism comes in many different forms and it is important that we are all vigilant for it, ”he added.
Starmer defeated Long-Bailey in a Labor leader election in April. He tries to send the party back to the center after the division of his left-wing predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn was also faced with allegations that he had bred anti-Semitism in the party. He has long been a supporter of the Palestinians and a critic of Israel.
Starmer called anti-Semitism “a blot at our party.”
Long-Bailey said she had shared the article because of Peake’s “significant accomplishments” and support for Labor, adding that “it was not intended to endorse all aspects of the article.”
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