Labour Party investigates second Newham councillor over antisemitism

Protesters during the demonstration organised by the Campaign Against Antisemitism outside the Labou

Cllr Mushtaq Mughal is the second Newham councillor to be investigated over alleged antisemitism in recent weeks. - Credit: PA Images

An investigation into a second councillor over allegations of antisemitism has sparked accusation of an "endemic culture" of anti-Jewish racism in the town hall's Labour Group.

Cllr Mushtaq Mughal, who chairs the Labour Group at Newham Council, is being investigated by the party over posts shared on social media.

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This post was shared in February 2016 and links to a video promoting the Neturie Karta which calls for the peaceful dismantling of the state of Israel. - Credit: Facebook

In one, the representative for Green Street West is alleged to have shared a link to a video promoting the Neturei Karta which is a group calling for the dismantling of the state of Israel.

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This post appeared in March, 2017. - Credit: Facebook

A second post reads: "Real Islam & real Judaism together can bring peace in the world. Israel is not (sic) Jewish state & it's (sic) acts are against God, Said jewel in USA".

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This post dates back to August, 2014. - Credit: Facebook

A third post, which forms part of the complaint, includes the image of a coin described as proof that Palestine existed before 1948 and that Jews and Arabs lived "side by side in peace".

Cllr Mughal did not respond to a request for comment.

Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism, called for Cllr Mughal to be suspended.

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Mr Philipps said: "Councillor Mughal appears to have promoted a series of antisemitic posts via his Facebook account. It is therefore astonishing that presented with this evidence the Labour Party have failed to suspend Cllr Mughal while their investigations take place."

He added an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission made clear the Labour Party must live up to its commitment of zero-tolerance of antisemitism.

"We are uncertain why they are failing to do that in this instance. We urge an immediate suspension and a full investigation into what appears to be an endemic culture of anti-Jewish racism among the Labour Group on Newham Council," he said.

A spokesperson for Newham Labour Group said it does not comment on individual cases undergoing investigation.

He added: "At Newham Labour Group, we have been taking active steps since last year in tackling antisemitism. We have set up a ‘Tackling Antisemitism and racism in Newham Labour’ working group, which will develop an action plan and mobilise a movement of councillors and activists to challenge antisemitism and all forms of racism wherever they occur.

"In addition, all members of Newham Labour Group have been required to attend an extensive training programme designed in collaboration with experts on equalities and discrimination with a strong focus on antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of hatred.”

A London Labour spokesperson said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."

Cllr Mughal is the second councillor to face allegations of antisemitism in recent weeks. Little Ilford's Cllr Nazir Ahmed was suspended pending investigation.

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