Labour have launched an investigation into “serious” allegations of antisemitism during a parliamentary selection contest.
Party chiefs confirmed they had intervened to dissolve the selection committee setback to pick candidates for the selection contest in Kensington local Labour party after commencing “a serious investigation into antisemitism” and over the need to “suspend members due to antisemitism.”
The memo from London Labour regional HQ also expressed “serious concerns” about the conduct of some of the selection committee accusing a “few” of them of either “lack of organisation” or else a “blatant attempt to undermine the process.”
Last week Jewish News revealed the Kensington selection was rocked by antisemitic and Islamophobic slurs being made against one of the candidates.
Mete Coban, one of the candidate hopefuls, had 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.”
A damning message sent to the Kensington CLP selection committee on Thursday evening also confirmed that committee members had previously been removed from their duties after it was discovered they had been campaigning themselves for the candidate Kasim Ali.
On Friday, it was confirmed that Ali had been removed the final shortlist of candidates who will now attempt to convince members they should represent Labour at the next general election.
Jewish News understands that the antisemitic email circulated in north Kensington last week was linked to a group of activists who had been involved in a leafleting session for Cllr Ali.
There is no suggestion Ali was directly involved in the wording of the racist email.
He had previously been backed the local Momentum group as their favoured candidate.
Ali had also previously claimed a photograph of himself at a campaign event for Zak Goldsmith’s London mayoral bid, which is displayed on the Somali Conservatives Facebook page, had indeed showed him present, but as a representative of a local communal group.
It is understood that a panel from Labour’s national executive committee will now oversee the selection process in the West London CLP.
Alongside Coban’s name on the shortlist of candidates for the Kensington selection ware those of Afsana Lachaux and Joe Powell.
Kensington CLP had faced an earlier antisemitism scandal when its former MP Emma Dent Coad apologised after backing claims Israel disgraced “Jews worldwide.”
Dent Coad, who lost the seat in 2019, was blocked from standing again as a candidate as a result of “due diligence” done on all those standing.
One Labour source welcomed the latest intervention from party chiefs into the local party.
“This has been needed for a long time now,” said the source. “Kensington CLP has been a mess. A hang-over from the Corbyn era.
“It’s great the leadership have now taken action.
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