LONDON – The leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, on Thursday fired a lawmaker from a top party job for sharing an article on social media containing what Starmer called “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”
Starmer said he had asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to resign as party education spokeswoman.
Earlier, Long-Bailey tweeted a link to a newspaper interview with actress Maxine Peake, calling the actress “an absolute diamond.”
In the interview with The Independent, Peake called systemic racism a global issue, and said “the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd's neck" had been learned from seminars with Israeli secret services.
Labour said in a statement that “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. Antisemitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it," he added.
Starmer beat Long-Bailey in an election to become Labour leader in April. He is trying to steer the party back towards the center ground after the divisive tenure of his left-wing predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn also faced allegations that he had allowed anti-Semitism to fester in the party. He is a longtime supporter of the Palestinians and a critic of Israel.