George Galloway has removed a member of his Batley and Spen by-election team after he was exposed as a Holocaust denier.
Shammy Cheema took to Facebook in 2019 to brand the Nazi genocide a “holohoax”, “exaggerated” and a “big fat Zionist cow milked for the last 80 years” to generate “indefinite public sympathy”, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.
According to Linkedin, Cheema is a property developer for a company called SC Investments in Wakefield and a boxing coach.
Galloway, who is standing in the by-election with the aim of splitting the Labour vote and force Sir Keir Starmer to face a leadership challenge, removed Cheema from his team on Saturday, saying he “absolutely” condemns antisemitism and Holocaust denial and “cannot be held responsible for the social media opinions of some 200 people helping his campaign”.
Concerns have grown in recent days over Labour’s prospects at Thursday’s by-election, the former seat of Jo Cox where she was murdered in 2016. A recent poll put her sister, Kim Leadbeater, on course to lose the heartlands constituency in Yorkshire to the Conservatives.
The Tories were on 47% – up 11% from the 2019 general election – while Labour was on 43%, according to Survation’s phone poll.
Galloway, the former Labour and Respect MP, was in a distant third place on 6%, with indications some of those votes had come from Labour as he tries to oust Sir Keir.
He would face heightened questions about his leadership if Labour loses that by-election, having been defeated by the Tories last month in the former stronghold of Hartlepool.
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