Labour councillor claims Joan Ryan bribed by ‘Israeli lobby’
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Labour councillor claims Joan Ryan bribed by ‘Israeli lobby’

EXCLUSIVE: Activists have called for the expulsion of Lewisham Labour councillor Carl Handley over his recent social media activity.

Activists have called for the expulsion of a Labour councillor in Lewisham after he allegedly shared a Facebook post suggesting former Labour MP Joan Ryan, now a member of the Independent Group, was bribed by the “Israeli lobby.”

Councillor Carl Handley shared an antisemitic meme on Facebook about the former Labour MP Joan Ryan, who defected last week to the Independent Group of MPs over antisemitism. 

The post read: “My name is Joan Ryan MP. In 2007, I claimed £173,691 in expenses, the highest amount for any MP.

“Ten years later, I am now wh**ing myself to the Israeli lobby and managing £1 million propaganda budget, courtesy of the Israeli embassy”.

The original caption read: “Sooner They All F*** off The Better”.

Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism said: ‘The image apparently posted by Councillor Handley is blatantly antisemitic.

“If he is responsible he needs to have the whip withdrawn and face immediate suspension and then expulsion from the Labour Party.

“This is not the only recent example of an antisemitic incident involving Lewisham Deptford Labour Party.

“We therefore once again demand that they be placed in special measures until this toxic culture of anti-Jewish racism is fully addressed.’

In a statement to Jewish News, Cllr Handley said: “I apologise unreservedly for having shared the post, which does not reflect my views at all.

“I thought it was a post about Joan Ryan leaving the Labour Party and carelessly shared it without reading the nasty language employed, or the antisemitic tropes within the post.

“I sincerely apologise to the Jewish community for having shared this hurtful image, which was unacceptable.””

A Lewisham Labour spokesperson said: “Lewisham Labour stands with the Jewish community and against all forms of antisemitism.

“The post Cllr Handley shared is distressing and unacceptable. He has been reported to the Chief Whip and this case will now go through our disciplinary procedures.

“Yesterday, Lewisham Council adopted the full IHRA definition and examples of antisemitism after Lewisham Labour councillors proposed and unanimously voted to adopt it.”

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