Jewish groups have urged Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby to call for the immediate expulsion of Pete Willsman for using “an antisemitic slur”.
A joint letter signed by the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Community Security Trust calls for his removal from the party and National Executive Committee.
Willsman was suspended pending an investigation earlier today after a recording emerged of him accusing the Israeli embassy of “whipping up” antisemitism claims against Jeremy Corbyn.
It is understood Willsman was informed of his suspension this morning and is effectively barred from NEC meetings during his suspension.
In the recording, Willsman claimed Israeli interference was behind a letter signed by 68 rabbis last year stating Labour ignored the Jewish community.
“In the Guardian not long ago, we had 68 rabbis obviously organised by the Israeli embassy, 68 rabbis saying ‘antisemitism in the Labour Party is widespread and severe,’” he said.
The joint-letter condemns Willsman for “accusing religious leaders from across the Jewish community of not only being liars, but of acting as a fifth column for a foreign state.
“It plays directly to age old accusations of Jewish conspiracy, treachery and dual loyalty. It is racist by any measure.
“It is also, ironically, one of the behaviours described as antisemitic in the definition of antisemitism that Labour’s leadership very grudgingly adopted last year, but have still failed to include anywhere on the party’s website.”
The letter concludes: “Pete Willsman must be immediately dismissed from Labour’s National Executive Committee and expelled from the Labour Party”