British Labour Party's Discipline Chief Steps Down Amid 'Holocaust Hoax' Case

Labour's Christine Shawcroft resigns after a leaked email shows her support of a council candidate who was suspended for alleged anti-Semitism

FILE PHOTO: A video grab from footage broadcast by the U.K. Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit shows Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, March 28, 2018.
PRU/ AFP

British Labour Party's panel chair for internal disputes Christine Shawcroft resigned after a leaked email that surfaced revealed her support of a council candidate that was suspended for alleged anti-Semitism, The Guardian reported on Wednesday. Shawcroft stepped into the panel chair role in January and she is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn

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Council candidate Alan Bull was suspended by Labour last week after he was accused of sharing an article on Facebook that denies the Holocaust, titled “International Red Cross report confirms the Holocaust of 6m Jews is a hoax." It also features a photograph of the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Shawcroft sent an email to left-wing allies on Labour's ruling national executive committee (NEC) last weekend in which she called against Bull's suspension ahead of local elections in May, The Daily Mail reported.

In the email obtained by The Daily Mail, Shawcroft wrote that “elements of Peterborough Labour party” have “political reasons” for wanting Bull suspended; and the Facebook post for which he was suspended has been “taken completely out of context."

Following the leaked email, Shawcroft decided to step down as chair of the party’s disputes panel, saying that “I sent this email before being aware of the full information about this case and I had not been shown the image of his abhorrent Facebook post."

“This week we have seen a clear expression of the pain and hurt that has been caused to Jewish members of our party and the wider Jewish community by antisemitic abuse and language, and by the reality of antisemitism being denied and downplayed by others," she said, adding that "in light of this, I have decided to stand down as chair of the disputes panel to ensure my wrong and misguided questions on this case do not cause doubt or anxiety about our processes."

Two other party members, Richard Ferris and Matthew Mahabadi, called for Bull's suspension, and announced they wouldn't campaign with him because of his anti-Semitic views, the New Statesman reported on Wednesday. Bull was suspended the following day.