Labour suspends four members amid MP’s bid to mend ties with the community
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Labour suspends four members amid MP’s bid to mend ties with the community

A party spokesperson said it takes 'all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated'

Paula Barker
Paula Barker

Four members of the Liverpool Wavertree constituency Labour party have been suspended after a row over the local MP’s bid to mend relations with the Jewish community.

The Labour Party does not comment on ongoing disciplinary cases. Jewish News understands the four members, who have not been identified by the party, were suspended pending an investigation.

Liverpool Wavertree MP Paula Barker, who was elected in Luciana Berger’s old seat at the December 2019 election, penned an article in the Jewish Telegraph last month describing her predecessor’s departure as “a shock to many” and saying that she found it “deeply regrettable that she felt she could no longer stay”.

In a statement last week, the Liverpool Wavertree Labour group condemned a weekly bulletin critical of Barker’s article, which it said was sent to some 1,800 local members by four of its own executive officers.

The statement did not identify the four executive officers, who were named in a local press report.

“This statement was made by four members of our executive committee, but we wish to make clear that they made these comments in a personal capacity and do not represent the views of this committee,” the group said.

“In contrast, we wish to offer our support for the spirit in which the article was written which was very much one of reaching out to the Jewish community, whilst re-enforcing her solidarity with the Palestinian cause, all with a view to promoting tolerance and unity,” it added.

The group’s statement went on to accuse the four executive officers of bringing the constituency Labour Party “into disrepute.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken. We cannot comment on individual cases.”

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