A socialist protest group set up by prominent former Labour Party members now accused of anti-Semitism have voted to expel half their number – on the grounds of anti-Semitism.

Labour Against the Witch-hunt (LAW), comprising members suspended or expelled from Labour for anti-Semitism, voted to kick out a further sub-group supportive of controversial Israeli-born author Gilad Atzmon.

LAW includes former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, Marxist commentator Tony Greenstein and Marc Wadsworth, a campaigner accused of smearing Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at a press conference unveiling a report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party by Baroness Shami Chakrabarti.

In notes of an LAW steering committee meeting, however, the trio said they were cutting ties to Socialist Fight, a sub-group comprising Ian Donovan and Gerry Downing, because their politics were anti-Semitic.

In the minutes of the meeting, Walker and Greenstein said: “It is a standard tactic of Zionism to accuse anti-Zionists of anti-Semitism. In 99 percent of cases this is false but occasionally they are right.”

In reference to Socialist Fight, they said: “Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the US or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.”

In response, Downing said: “I stand with Donovan with respect to his allusions to a ‘Jewish subculture’ within the upper echelons of power that have deliberately conspired against the better interests of the rest of us.”