Rebecca Long-Bailey sacked from Labour front bench over retweet

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked from her position as Labour’s shadow education secretary after sharing an article that contained an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer took action after Ms Long-Bailey tweeted a link to an interview with actress Maxine Peake, who had claimed the police linked to the death of George Floyd had learned their tactics from the Israeli secret services.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the Shadow Cabinet.

“The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority.

“Anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”

Ms Long-Bailey said she had shared the article because “its main thrust” was calling for Labour Party unity and added that her retweet was not an endorsement of “all aspects of the article”.

She said her attempt to clarify the situation was agreed by the Labour Party Leader’s Office, but she was then told to take it down, along with the original retweet.

“I could not do this in good conscience without the issuing of a press statement of clarification. I had asked to discuss these matters with Keir before agreeing what further action to take, but sadly he had already made his decision,” she said.

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