Labour’s Jewish affiliate tears into shadow minister after Zionism posts apology

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Labour’s Jewish affiliate tears into shadow minister after Zionism posts apology

Lloyd Russell-Moyle apologised at the weekend over social media posts uncovered by the Sunday Times, including one describing Zionism as a 'dangerous nationalist idea'

Lloyd Russell-Moyle
Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Shadow environment minister Lloyd Russell-Moyle has come under criticism from the Labour Party’s Jewish affiliate after he apologised over social media posts about Zionism published before he became an MP.

Material uncovered by the Sunday Times included a 2009 Facebook post describing Zionism as a “dangerous nationalist idea” and another suggesting Jewish claims to Israel are “not progressive” in their “very nature”, the newspaper reported at the weekend.

The Labour MP, 33, first elected to Parliament in 2017, apologised in a statement on Sunday. “I have now deleted these posts and recognise why they were offensive,” he said.

“I am completely and unreservedly committed to supporting [Labour leader] Keir Starmer and [deputy leader] Angela Rayner’s pledge to rid the party of antisemitism. I have met previously with the Jewish Labour Movement and will be reaching out to them again now,” he added.

But the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) said it had had no formal contact with the MP since the 2017 election when he “spontaneously” joined a planned meeting between its officers and a parliamentarian.

“Lloyd Russell-Moyle has, in his short time in Parliament, managed to attract constant controversy in relation to antisemitism, which has caused deep upset and distress within the Jewish community in Brighton and Hove,” read a statement from the affiliate on Sunday.

“In isolation, each event would have at best pointed to a blind spot on anti-Jewish racism. Taken together they appear to be a pattern of behaviour that is simply not acceptable for a front bench member of the Parliamentary Labour Party,” they said.
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