Rebecca Long-Bailey has suggested her removal from the Labour front-bench last week could have been avoided.
The former shadow education secretary, succeeded by the Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green, was sacked after sharing an interview Keir Starmer said contained an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”
She claimed responsibility for her actions and acknowledged how “painful the issue of antisemitism has been for the Jewish community” in an op-ed published by the Guardian on Monday.
Starmer’s former leadership bid rival also said she “would never have intended to retweet or endorse anything that could cause hurt to anyone” but also described her sacking as “avoidable”, reiterating claims previously made in a long Twitter thread last week.
Long-Bailey maintained that she drafted her initial clarification about the row together with Starmer’s office – but was later asked to delete it along with the original tweet, and refused to do so.
She wrote: “Complete silence from me over what had just happened would have been an abdication of the Labour party’s responsibility to advance dialogue and understanding on this issue; silence is what allows antisemitic conspiracy theories to fester and spread.
“I asked to issue a press statement and to discuss it with Keir, so we could sort this out. But when he did call me, he had made his decision. It was a mess, and an avoidable one. Of course I take responsibility for my own actions.”
Long-Bailey was sacked after sharing an interview in which actress Maxine Peake appeared to link George Floyd’s killing to claims U.S. police had learned tactics from Israeli forces.
Peake made the claim during a wide-ranging interview with the Independent that “the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”
Peake later tweeted she was “inaccurate in my assumption of American Police training & its sources.” She added: “I find racism & antisemitism abhorrent & I in no way wished, nor intended, to add fodder to any views of the contrary.”