Labour pressure group backed by John McDonnell sorry for ‘antisemitic’ posts
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Labour pressure group backed by John McDonnell sorry for ‘antisemitic’ posts

'These posts should not have been made, they have now been deleted, and we apologise for them,' Labour Representation Committee says

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell. Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell. Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A Labour pressure group, whose honorary president is shadow chancellor John McDonnell, has apologised after claims it promoted “antisemitic” material on Facebook.

The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) apologised in a statement on Monday after receiving several complaints about its recent social media activity.

The left-wing group said it removed the material and reviewed its posting  processes.

“We recognise that a number of the posts that have attracted criticism were, at the very least, careless,” the group said.

“Others have led to accusations that we have promoted antisemitic content, counter to all the values and policies of the LRC. These posts should not have been made, they have now been deleted, and we apologise for them,” the statement read.

“We also recognise that some of the views recently expressed via our Facebook page do not reflect our LRC policies, the views of our officers nor our wider membership, as would be expected of a platform representing an established Labour left membership group,” it continued.

According to screenshots circulated on social media, a since-deleted Facebook post was reportedly sent from the LRC’s account on Friday, stating: “These dirtbags should be out there looking for the fascist and right wing bampots that daub paint on shops and worse.”

The post reportedly contained a link to a tweet sent by the account @LauraMStuart9 last month, appearing to accuse a member of the group Campaign Against Antisemitism of being part of a “Zionist cabal” that undermined “British democracy” to ensure a Labour defeat at the general election. 

Campaigner Stephane Savary, who sits on the Jewish Labour Movement’s national executive committee, echoed calls urging the shadow chancellor to disassociate himself from the pressure group. 

“It is evident that the LRC should not be tolerated any longer by honest Labour Party members and yes be expelled from the party. McDonnell also need to dissociate himself from the group or explain why he still supports them,” he wrote on Sunday.

A spokesman for the group Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The Labour Representation Committee has more to apologise for than a series of offensive tweets. It has a long history of belittling claims of antisemitism, publishing extremely disturbing articles and holding events with Jew-baiters. Under the presidency of John McDonnell, the organisation was at the forefront of the campaign to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister.”

The LRC did not respond when approached for comment on Monday.

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