Naz Shah suspended from Labour party over anti-semitic comments despite apologising


            	Naz Shah suspended from Labour over antisemitic comments

Labour is embroiled in a fresh storm over its response to anti-Semitism after the suspension of MP Naz Shah over offensive social media posts.

The West Bradford MP was stripped of the parliamentary whip and barred from party activity pending an investigation of her behaviour - which David Cameron branded racist.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had initially delivered only a reprimand, arguing that while the comments - made before Shah was an MP - were "offensive and unacceptable", Shah did not hold discriminatory views.

But under pressure from senior Labour figures to take disciplinary action amid mounting concern about anti-Semitism within the ranks - and with the Prime Minister joining calls for her suspension - it was announced Shah had been excluded.

Naz Shah

"Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary," a party spokesman said.

"Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed."

The leadership was also forced to deny editing an article written by Shah for Jewish News - one of a string of apologies issued by the MP - to remove direct references to anti-Semitism and wider issues in the party.

Shah, who yesterday quit her role as a Parliamentary assistant to shadow chancellor John McDonnell yesterday, told MPs she deeply regretted the hurt caused by the posts and wanted to work with Jewish groups to bolster understanding.

Nax Shah

In a 2014 Facebook post, she shared a graphic of Israel's outline superimposed onto a map of the US under the headline "Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict - Relocate Israel into United States", with the comment: "Problem solved".

The Guido Fawkes website - which published the post - also pointed to another made before Shah was an MP, which used the hashtag #IsraelApartheid above a quote saying "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal".

"Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop. As an MP I will do everything in my power to build relations between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths and none," she told the Commons.

Shah wrote in Jewish News that she wished to make an "unequivocal apology for statements and ideas that I have foolishly endorsed in the past".

Naz Shah
(Yui Mok/PA)

"The manner and tone of what I wrote in haste is not excusable. With the understanding of the issues I have now I would never have posted them. I have to own up to the fact that ignorance is not a defence."