Council leader resigns equalities role after Israel post apology

Council leader resigns equalities role after Israel post apology

EXCLUSIVE: Labour’s Muhammed Butt had role of promoting equality in the London borough

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Muhammed Butt.
Muhammed Butt.

The leader of Brent Council has resigned from his role at the umbrella body for local authorities following revelations he shared a Facebook post which compared Israel with Islamic State.

Labour’s Muhammed Butt apologised last month for sharing a post on Facebook which compared Israel with Islamic State.

The post – since removed – included a clip which appears to show a Palestinian girl in a skirmish with an Israeli soldier, with a paragraph at the bottom ending “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.”

Having removed the post after it was brought to his attention by Jewish News, he said: “I do not agree with these views and as Leader of Brent Council I have championed diversity, tolerance and respect for all faith communities, and will continue to do so.”

But a spokesperson for London Councils – where Butt held the equalities lead until last week – said: “We can confirm that Cllr Muhammed Butt has resigned as equalities lead for London Councils. A new equalities lead will be appointed by our Leaders’ Committee in due course.”

In an open letter to the council leader, Brent’s Conservative leader Cllr John Warren earlier called for Butt’s resignation claiming “he is no longer a fit and proper person to hold the leader’s position and he can no longer credibly represent all communities in Brent.”.

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