Labour expels councillor who wrote ‘Jewish leaders are worse than the Nazis’

Councillor Andy Kay
Blackburn Labour has expelled a councillor who said "Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis" and that “Zionists' attempts to influence our political processes” were “racist”.

Councillor Andy Kay, a former cabinet member of Blackburn with Darwen Council, a unitary local authority in Lancashire, had been suspended by the party after his posts came to light.

Cllr Kay also said in a Facebook post in 2014 that “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis”. The Daily Mail reported on election day in December that this post was “liked” by Jeremy Corbyn’s private parliamentary secretary Kate Hollern, who later apologised.

Blackburn with Darwen Council produced a report, seen by the JC, which includes a response by Cllr Kay, who confirmed the Facebook post was his, but said: “I do not believe that my words constitute antisemitism.”

He added: “If anyone has taken personal offence at my words, I sincerely apologise, as there was and is no intention to offend individuals.”

The person investigating the matter felt, the council's report noted, that “consideration must be given to the fact that at the time of this public Facebook post and for over 5 years since there has been no complaints received or lodged.

“This on the balance of probabilities suggests a conclusion that the context was understood at the time and, caused no immediate offence or concern – otherwise it could be reasonably concluded that a complaint would have been raised at the time.

“[The Daily Mail article] was published on the day of the General Election, i.e. 12th December 2019 and it is reasonable to conclude, with due respect to the two complainants, one of whom is an opposition councillor, that there is a clear risk that the complaint could be considered as politically motivated as it is based on this report.”

The council's monitoring officer, David Fairclough, wrote in the report: “Clearly this is a serious complaint which could potentially breach the code of conduct, but context and evidence provided suggests an isolated incident that happened some 5/6 years ago.”

The JC earlier reported that in July last year Cllr Kay had shared an article – which he claimed was “food for thought….. real thought!” – that alleged Labour's antisemitism crisis was part of a “disgraceful environment” of “disinformation and downright lies cooked up by those with vested interests and promoted by the billionaire offshore owners of the press and fellow travellers such as Ruth Smeeth”.

A Labour spokesperson said: "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."

Source: TheJC