A West Midlands council leader has resigned from her post after being suspended from the Labour Party over alleged antisemitic tweets in 2017 and 2018.
The former Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies announced her resignation during a live-streamed cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
“At 9.30 last night, I opened an email from the Labour Party and learnt that I was subject to an administrative suspension based on complaints of antisemitism relating to retweets that I made two and three years ago,” she told the meeting, reading aloud a prepared statement.
She denied allegations of antisemitism and accused “local party members” of leaking material to members of the press and of campaigning against her.
“For the record, I am not antisemitic. I am horrified that I might even be considered so to be. Equally, I am as aware as our party leader of the risks of unconscious bias and the dangers of perpetuating negative tropes,” she said.
Councillor Davies went on to say she “could have apologised for my historic misjudgement” had she been consulted prior to her suspension.
“Maybe it’s maybe because I’m a woman, possibly it’s because I’m a strong woman, or maybe other factors have been at play which are about the approach I’ve tried to bring to the running of the school,” she told the room.
A Labour Party 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.”
The deputy leader, councillor Maria Crompton, will take the reins in the interim, the local authority said.
Councillor Yvonne Davies has been contacted for comment.