Keir Starmer is said to be “infuriated” with Stephen Kinnock, a member of his foreign affairs frontbench team, for using a House of Commons debate on Palestine to accuse Israel of behaviour “tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime”.
Mr Kinnock, son of ex-party leader Neil Kinnock, has since been reprimanded for his remarks, which included calling the UK to “ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories”.
The fallout from Mr Kinnock’s comments emerged after an online meeting between Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy and the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council last week.
Sources at the meeting claim that Ms Nandy – Mr Kinnock’s immediate boss – told Jewish leaders that he had been given ‘a dressing down’ for his tone in a Commons debate on 24 September.
They said Ms Nandy confirmed anger at the very top of the party over Mr Kinnock’s suggestion that Labour had hardened its policy towards Israel and the settlements.
One source told the Mail on Sunday: “Lisa made no secret of the fact she and the leader were angry with Kinnock – especially after all the work that has been done to try to restore Labour’s relationship with the Jewish community.
“At the meeting, there was agreement there is nothing wrong with criticising the Israeli government for some of its actions – but only if this is proportionate with criticism of other countries.
“Mr Kinnock has a long record of singling out Israel with over-the-top criticism.”
Allies of Mr Kinnock, former chairman of the British-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group, stressed that he was clear with fellow MPs that his anger over the situation in the Occupied Territories was not “about being pro-Israel or pro-Palestine – this is about striving for peace, justice and security for all”.
The Labour party has been approached for comment.
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