U.K. Labour Party Reinstates Member Who Accused Jews of Financing Slave Trade

Jackie Walker's case is the first reinstatement of a number of Labour Party members who have been suspended over allegations of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Labour's Jackie Walker.
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A British Labour Party member, Jackie Walker, who had been suspended from the party after stating that Jews were "chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade" has been reinstated, the British Jewish News website reported Saturday. Walker is the first of a number of Labour Party members suspended for anti-Semitic rhetoric to be reinstated, the Jewish News reported.

Reacting to the reinstatement, Walker said: "I am glad this investigation has fully cleared me of any wrongdoing. I am not a racist, but I robustly defend my right and the right of others to speak openly and frankly about matters of grave political and historical importance. That is the cornerstone of the right of free speech in our democracy,” the Jewish News stated.

The Associated Press reported that Walker blamed her suspension on the "right-wing press" and by people opposed to British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom she supports. She is the vice chairwoman of the South Thanet party branch in Southeast England.

Last month former London mayor and veteran Labour Party politician Ken Livingstone was suspended for controversial remarks in which he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews.” The comments came one day after Labour parliament member Naz Shah was suspended for comments that came to light comparing Hitler's policies to those of Israel toward Palestinians and for suggesting that Israel be relocated to the United States.

Shah apologized for the comments, which were made two years ago on social media. For his part, however, Livingstone said Shah's remarks were not anti-Semitic.