Keir Starmer sacks Rebecca Long-Bailey from Labour shadow cabinet for sharing 'antisemitic conspiracy theory'

London - Sir Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet after sharing an article containing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer took action after Ms Long-Bailey tweeted a link to an interview with the actress Maxine Peake in which she claimed the police linked to the death in the US of George Floyd had learned their tactics from the Israeli secret services. Rebecca Long-Bailey had been the Shadow Education Secretary under Sir Keir.

She ran against Sir Keir for Labour leader, and was seen as the continuity candidate following Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. The Labour party was dogged by claims of antisemitism during Mr Corbyn's tenure.

Ms Long-Bailey shared an interview with the actress Maxine Peake, where Ms Peake claimed: "Systemic racism is a global issue… The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services."

Ms Long-Bailey shared the interview on Twitter with the caption: "Maxine Peake is an absolute diamond."

A spokesman for Sir Keir Starmer said: “This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the Shadow Cabinet. The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Antisemitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey tweeted that she "in no way" intended to endorse every sentiment of the interview when she shared it.

“Today I retweeted an interview that my constituent and stalwart Labour Party supporter Maxine Peake gave to the Independent", she said.

"Its main thrust was anger with the Conservative government’s handling of the current emergency and a call for Labour Party unity.

“These are sentiments are shared by everyone in our movement and millions of people in our country. I learned that many people were concerned by references to international sharing of training and restraint techniques between police and security forces. In no way was my retweet an intention to endorse every part of that article."
The move has been slammed by left wing campaigners, including journalist and activist Owen Jones.

Mr Jones said: "Sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an interview in *the Independent* with one of Britain's most celebrated actors because of a sentence uttered by Maxine Peake which the Independent initially justified with a link to an Amnesty International report is an absurd overreaction."

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also tweeted in support of Ms Long Bailey.

He said: “Throughout discussion of antisemitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not antisemitic. I don’t believe therefore that this article is or ⁦⁦@RLong_Bailey⁩ should’ve been sacked. I stand in solidarity with her.”

Source: standard