Labour Hillingdon councillor suspended in ‘antisemitism’ probe
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Labour Hillingdon councillor suspended in ‘antisemitism’ probe

Labour confirm investigation into newly elected Labina Basit following complaints, including claims she took part in a demo against the IHRA definition of antisemitism

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour has suspended a newly elected councillor in Hillingdon, West London, pending an investigation into allegations of claims involving antisemitism.

Labina Basit, who was elected as a Labour councillor in the local Belmore ward at last month’s local election, sparked complaints after a series of social media posts emerged along with evidence she had taken part in a demonstration against Haringey Council’s adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

It is not known if the offending posts, which have been widely circulated online by campaigners, are the reason Labour has launched the investigation into the councillor.

Basit’s name also appeared on an open letter which claimed notorious figures such as Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, and Tony Greenstein were initially “suspended for supporting the Palestinians, not because of antisemitism” by Labour.

In April 2017, she also gave her support to a letter opposing calls for Ken Livingstone’s expulsion from Labour, which defended his comments about Zionism and the Nazis.

One senior Jewish Labour source said on Thursday they “welcomed” the party’s decision to act “swiftly to the complaints about Labina Basit” which they added “now needed to be properly looked into.”

Another party source added:”The May 5th elections had seen over a thousand Labour councillors elected across the country.

“The standard of most of our candidates was overall quite high this time.

“But the party will not stop to take action when standards appear to slip, especially over claims involving antisemitism.

“Keir Starmer has made it clear that he wants to go even further now with his drive to make sure the party fields only the highest quality candidates going forwards.”

In November 2016, Jewish News had revealed how Basit has previously been given a short suspension by Labour over allegations including the retweeting of a message featuring the word ‘Zio’.

She tweeted at the time: “I’m flabbergasted someone can report me, despite asking lab won’t say who; people suspended 4 no reason than unsuspended + ‘warned’.”

Jewish News has contacted Basit for comment on her suspension pending an investigation into the latest claims against her.

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

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