British Labour Official Quits After Suspension for 2018 Anti-Semitic Tweets
July 10, 2020
This past week, the UK Labour Party suspended Yvonne Davies after looking into allegations of anti-Semitism against her. Davies, the leader of the Sandwell Council was under fire for a series of anti-Semitic tweets that she posted in 2018.
The Jewish Chronicle reported that the tweets blame “Israel’s hand” and the “Jewish establishment” for the massive defeat of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Davies’ use of anti-Semitic tropes suggesting a controlling Jewish power have prompted an investigation by UK Labour leaders which is still ongoing.
Davies was first elected to lead the Sandwell Council in May 2019 after serving as a member for a number of years prior. Paul Moore, another Labour council member in Sandwell, filed a complaint against Davies three months ago which prompted the ensuing investigation. Mr. Moore told The Jewish Chronicle that he had encouraged Councillor Davies to step aside from her position.
John Spellar, a local Labour MP, echoed Moore’s concern. He said, “I would have thought that at the very least she would want to withdraw them and apologize for posting them.” Neither of which has happened, as Davies insists that she is not anti-Semitic and that she would not comment further. The uptick in investigations into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party comes after Keir Starmer, the newly-elected Labour leader, pledged to prioritize rebuilding trust with the Jewish community.
Liam Byrne, another local Labour MP and candidate for West Midlands Mayor, told The Jewish Chronicle that, “There is absolutely no place for racism or antisemitism in the Labour Party.” Ian Austin, a former Jewish MP who left the Labour Party over anti-Semitism, was less optimistic.
Defending herself before her suspension, Councillor Davies said she would be more careful about what she tweets going forward since there is “a lot of sensitivity” on the issue of anti-Semitism.