LABOUR Party Allows Suspended Antisemite Councillor to Join Their Campaign Team

Labour has been accused of “turning a blind eye to antisemitism” amid reports a suspended former council leader has continued to campaign for the party.

The following was reported by lancslive:

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal was suspended by Labour in June 2022 after allegedly making anti-Semitic comments at a meeting. Cllr Iqbal was opposition leader at the time but now sits as an independent with the suspension still in place.

He has denied holding any anti-Semitic views and almost a year on, his case has yet to be decided. However, as first reported in the Jewish Chronicle, he was seen alongside councillors at the recent local election vote count and reportedly wore a Labour rosette while tallying people outside a polling station.

Cllr Iqbal declined to comment when contacted by LancsLive. Andrew Stephenson, the Conservative MP for Pendle, blasted the Labour Party for not properly enforcing the suspension.

He said: “Since his supposed “suspension” from the Labour Party CIIr lqbal has continued to sit with the Labour group in Pendle Council and Lancashire County Council. He was seen repeatedly out campaigning for Labour in the run up to the local elections and then attended the count to celebrate alongside other Labour councillors.

“It is therefore unclear what his “suspension” actually means. In the light of the Pendle Labour Party turning a blind eye to antisemitism Sir Keir Starmer should launch an investigation into the local Labour Party and make CIIr lqbal’s suspension permanent.”

Labour North West has declined to comment on the reports but a source indicated that Cllr Iqbal remains suspended by the party. A spokesman for the Jewish Labour Movement told the Chronicle that his continued involvement broke party rules which prevents suspended members from “represent[ing] the party at any level”.

The spokesperson said: “If he has taken part in campaigning then it is likely that he will have broken the rules of his suspension and this will be added onto the charge sheet when his case is heard. All parts of the party must be with us and Keir Starmer in destroying this toxic legacy of antisemitism from our party.”

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