Labour candidate selection contest rocked by antisemitic and Islamophobic slurs

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Labour candidate selection contest rocked by antisemitic and Islamophobic slurs

Exclusive: The contest to select the Labour candidate to stand in Kensington, West London, has seen a vile memo attacking candidate Mete Coban as a 'sell out' Muslim and a 'Zionist' circulated amongst some members

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Mete Coban
Mete Coban

A Labour parliamentary selection contest has been rocked by antisemitic and Islamophobic slurs being made against one of the candidates.

Mete Coban, who is attempting to win the nomination to be picked as Labour’s candidate in Kensington, in west London, has been labelled “Zionist” and a Muslim “sell out” in an online message sent to members.

The ugly message also accused him of being a “supporter of apartheid, racism and baby killers.”


vile message circulated amongst some Kensington Labour members

The local Labour Party had faced an earlier antisemitism scandal when its former MP Emma Dent Coad apologised after backing claims Israel disgraced “Jews worldwide.”

Coban, a Hackney council cabinet member, was accused in the memo of “being parachuted in (sic) Kensington by right winger Keir Starmer.”

It is further claimed the charity he runs “is funded by the United States embassy who are proven to have strong ties with Israel.”

In then claims:”Meta went on an Israeli funded trip to the zionist homeland.

“He will claim to be a Muslim,  but he is a sellout to his people and his race.”

The vile slurs were immediately condemned by other candidates in the race.

Salman Shaikh, a former UN diploma, also running to be picked as Labour’s candidate wrote:”I condemn in the strongest terms the vile, antisemitic email circulated yesterday criticising a fellow candidate in Kensington. I urge all candidates to do the same.”

Joe Powell, another candidate, added:”Antisemitism and Islamophobia have no place in British politics.

“I am disgusted that an anonymous account has sent a racist email to some Labour members in Kensington seeking to smear another candidate.”

Jewish News understands that Stephen Cowan, the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, who is also standing for selection, telephone Coban personally to express his disgust at the vile slurs directed at him.

Cowan also directly reported the email to Labour, and emailed his own supporters saying he was “sickened” to see the “hateful, racist, antisemitic and Islamophobic” email.

Another Labour source likened the email slur sent out about Coban to the fake claims circulated about Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal during the Ilford South selection contest.

The day after the message was sent, Coban issued a statement online revealing he was “an ally member of the Jewish Labour Movement.”

He added he was “honoured to have their support to be Kensington’s next Labour MP.

“We must never again let down our Jewish members, friends and communities. We have made progress, and there is more to do. ”

Coban was awarded an MBE for his work with his charity in transforming youth engagement and making democracy more accessible to young people

Former MP Dent Coad, who lost the seat in 2019, was blocked from standing again as a candidate as a result ofas a result of “due diligence” done on all candidates ahead of them standing.

Jewish News contacted Labour for comment.



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