Labour reinstates councillor who said ‘no basis for a Jewish race or homeland’

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Labour reinstates councillor who said ‘no basis for a Jewish race or homeland’

Party lets apologetic Tower Hamlets official Puru Miah back in after giving him a 'reminder of values'.

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

A Labour councillor has been readmitted to the party after being suspended for claiming there is “no factual basis for a Jewish race, nation or homeland”.

The party, which declined to comment, confirmed Tower Hamlets official Puru Miah has been let back in after being issued with a formal “reminder of values”.

Miah was suspended in November 2020 over a 2014 Facebook post, which stated: “‘The invention of the Jewish people’ by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand'” was an “absolutely ‘must read’ for everyone who wants truth and justice for Palestine/Israel.

“The essential historical evidence will amaze you – there is no factual basis whatsoever for a Jewish race, nation or homeland, it is all a recently invented propaganda called ‘Zionism’.”

After his suspension, Miah said he “unreservedly apologised for the hurt caused” and was “embarrassed” by what he wrote.

Following his reinstatement, Miah said: “The complaint was based on an edited screenshot of a social media post I made in 2014. At the time I rigorously denied the allegation… I apologised for the hurt caused, welcomed the investigation and was confident of being cleared. Four months later the party’s National Executive Committee found that I did not breach any party rules, subsequently restored by full membership without any conditions or restrictions.”

The Labour councillor also defended appearing on the Muslim news site 5 Pillars, alongside its editor Roshan Salih, who repeatedly caused outrage in the community. Salih said an interfaith Mitzvah Day chicken soup cook-a-thon was ‘Zionist infiltration’, and called for a boycott of an exhibition on Muslim heroes of the Holocaust,. He also previously hosted Ken Livingstone on Holocaust Memorial Day, where he asked him if the Shoah had been ‘exploited to oppress others’?

Miah defended appearing alongside Salih in the past, saying in a he did so  “following the scathing report on Islamophobia in the Labour Party, published by the Muslim Labour Network. I agreed to attend precisely because I disagree with Roshan, especially when he says, “Muslims should leave the Labour Party”.”

Miah said “no complaints have been upheld against 5pillarsuk”, which is a member of Independent Monitor for the Press (IMPRESS).

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