Britain's Labour Suspends Former MP for Slamming Jews 'And Their Blairite Plotters'

Jim Sheridan wrote he had lost respect for the Jewish community due to what they 'are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain'

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, visits Harper Adams University in Newport, August 14, 2018.
\ DARREN STAPLES/ REUTERS

The U.K. Labour Party suspended a former lawmaker who said he lost respect for the Jewish community "due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain," the Guardian reported on Saturday.

“For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering,” Jim Sheridan wrote in a Facebook post. The 65-year-old served in Parliament for 14 years until losing his seat in 2015.

“No longer due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”

>> A radical split: How anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are dividing British politics | Analysis

“The Labour party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms," a party spokesman told the Guardian.  

“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”

Labour has been wrestling with accusations that it has been tolerant of anti-Semitism among some of its members, and in April leaders of Britain’s 270,000 Jews organized a protest accusing party leader Jeremy Corbyn of failing to address their concerns.

A major flashpoint was the party’s decision to approve a new code of conduct that Jewish groups said watered down the internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism. Labour said it had concerns about part of the definition but had re-opened discussions on the code to take into account Jewish community concerns.

The controversy led to three British Jewish newspapers publishing a joint editorial saying that there would be an “existential threat to Jewish life in this country” if Labour won power from the ruling Conservative Party.

This month, Corbyn’s again appealed to Jewish members, using a video message to press his pledge to drive anti-Semitism out of the party “for good” after a similar attempt earlier fell flat for several Jewish groups.

Corbyn made headlines again earlier this week when he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded barbs on Twitter following a newspaper report that Corbyn attended a memorial honoring terrorists behind the massacre of Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics during a visit to Tunisia in 2014.