By Tony Winterburn • 26 June 2020 • 10:35
Rebecca Long-Bailey speaks after being fired in anti-Semitism row. image credit: Twitter
A spokesperson for Starmer said she had been “asked to step down” after sharing an article that “contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.” Rebecca Long has said she is “incredibly upset” after being fired from Labour’s front bench over an article she shared on social media.
Ms Long-Bailey, branded the “continuity Corbyn” candidate in the party’s recent leadership battle, was stood down by leader Sir Keir Starmer after she shared a story which Sir Keir said expressed an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
Ms Long-Bailey retweeted an interview with actor and Labour supporter Maxine Peake. The shadow education secretary – who was beaten to the party leadership by Sir Keir – later said she had not meant to endorse all aspects of the article.
But Sir Keir said his “first priority” was tackling anti-Semitism.
The Labour leader said: “The sharing of that article was wrong… because the article contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet. “I’ve made it my first priority to tackle anti-Semitism and rebuilding trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority for me.”
As leading left-wing figures in the party spoke out about the sacking of Ms Long-Bailey, the Salford and Eccles MP said Sir Keir needed to live up to his leadership campaign promises of bringing Labour together.
Ms Long-Bailey said: “I completely agree with the need for us to intensively rebuild our relationship with the Jewish community and the wider electorate. I can understand the difficulties of Keir’s position.
“Whilst we don’t agree on everything, we agree on the need for a Labour government and I’ll still do everything I possibly can to make sure that happens.
“The only way that we’ll win a general election is by being unified as a party that’s why it’s so important for me to make the choice not to be critical about the way I might have been treated.”
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