‘I was inaccurate’, says Maxine Peake after linking George Floyd death to Israel

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

‘I was inaccurate’, says Maxine Peake after linking George Floyd death to Israel

Actress says she was wrong but stops short of apology, day after sacking of Labour shadow minister Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing her claim

Maxine Peake in 2015 (Credit: Brian Minkoff-London Pixels - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39462498)
Maxine Peake in 2015 (Credit: Brian Minkoff-London Pixels - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39462498)

Actress Maxine Peake has responded to backlash over previous comments appearing to link George Floyd’s killing to claims U.S. police had learned tactics from Israeli forces.

The Silk star drew criticism with her suggestion that “tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

Taking to Twitter on Thursday evening, she said she condemned racism and antisemitism. “I feel it’s important for me to clarify that, when talking to The Independent, I was inaccurate in my assumption of American Police training & its sources,” she said.

“I find racism & antisemitism abhorrent & I in no way wished, nor intended, to add fodder to any views of the contrary,” she added.

She had earlier appeared to draw a connection between Floyd’s death and Israel during a wide-ranging interview with The Independent, which upon being shared approvingly by Labour’s Rebecca Long Bailey led to the MP’s sacking from the front-bench yesterday amid condemnations from Jewish groups.

A correction was added to the interview, informing the reader the piece was amended to “further clarify that the allegation that US police were taught tactics of ‘neck kneeling’ by Israeli secret services is unfounded.”

A spokesperson for Labour leader Keir Starmer said the interview had “contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.”

Some MPs, however, defended Long Bailey, including the former shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who tweeted: “Throughout discussion of antisemitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not antisemitic.”

Long Bailey later said sharing the piece had not been intended as an “endorsement of all aspects of the article.”


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: