Labour has withdrawn its endorsement of a candidate over a series of posts about “Zionists” controlling politics and the media.
The party’s local campaigns forum acted within hours of reports about social media posting from Billy J Wells, who last month boasted of having been selected to contest a council seat in Bradwell South and Hopton,
He has claimed on Facebook that “it’s the super rich families of the Zionist lobby that control the world. Our world leaders sell their souls for greed and do the bidding of Israel”.
Wells, who suggested allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour as “right wing propaganda”, also wrote: “The Zionist lobby would not allow our puppet government and its media lapdogs to show the truth.”
He also previously backed Ken Livingstone over his comments on Hitler and Zionism.
The case with raised with the Labour leadership and HQ by the Jewish Labour Movement yesterday and Jewish News understands he has now been dropped. He may yet appeal.
Speaking to Jewish News, Wells said: “Until I have all the facts I can’t go into specifics but I am in no way anti Semitic, in no way racist and my reasons for wishing to enter politics is guided by a desire to see a better and more equal society for everyone.”
“I allow my posts to go out publicly for full scrutiny and to show I am an open page. This news has left me shocked and devastated but I fully intend to seek clarification and clear my name”
His past comments were initially revealed by the Campaign Against Antisemitism earlier this week.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.