Labour drops candidate over claim Jews and Muslims seek to ‘dominate politics’
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Labour drops candidate over claim Jews and Muslims seek to ‘dominate politics’

Paul Knaggs, 52, a former army officer, is standing for a seat on Chesterfield borough council next month

Screenshot of the article published in LabourHeartlands.com
Screenshot of the article published in LabourHeartlands.com

Jewish News understands a council candidate has been suspended from Labour  after he claimed Jews and Muslims seek to “dominate our politics or undermine the working-class struggle.”

Paul Knaggs, 52, a former army officer who founded the Labour Heartlands website, is running for a seat on Chesterfield borough council next month.

He will not be removed from the register as the deadline has passed, but if elected, it is understood that he would sit as an independent councillor.

In an article in Labour Heartlands published last year, Knaggs wrote, addressing Jews and Muslims: “I respect your freedom to have a religion and even practise it.

“But I do not respect the fact that you want your religion to dominate our politics or undermine the working class struggle.”

The article, which has not been deleted, accuses former Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush of spreading “poison” by attacking Labour and Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism.

Knaggs defended his comments at the weekend, saying Islamophobia and antisemitism were “plagues” distracting attention away from the working-class, The Times reported.

A Labour Party spokesperson told The Times it takes prejudice “extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures.”

A spokesperson for Labour said the party “takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken. We can’t comment on individual cases.”

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