Jim Sheridan suspended from Labour over antisemitism row comments
Paisley – The former Labour MP Jim Sheridan has been suspended from the party after he appeared to say he had lost “respect and empathy” for the Jewish community over the party’s antisemitism row, it is understood.
Sheridan had been criticised for a social media post which suggested that Jewish Labour members were acting in concert with “Blairite plotters” to undermine the leadership.
“For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering,” a post since removed from his Facebook page said.
“No longer due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”
Sheridan, 65, was an MP for 14 years until he lost his Paisley and Renfrewshire North seat in 2015. He now serves as a councillor in Renfrewshire.
It is understood that he was suspended on Saturday after a complaint was received for the post he was alleged to have made.
The Conservative MP for East Renfrewshire, Paul Masterton, described the online comments as appalling and said they showed “just how deeply the problem of antisemitism runs in elements of the Labour party”.
The Labour MP Ian Austin MP, a long-standing critic of the way his party has dealt with allegations of antisemitism, was among those who had called for action to be taken against Sheridan.
He tweeted: “Utterly disgusting from former MP, TGWU official and Chair of Unite group of MPs, Jim Sheridan. Time for @LenMcCluskey to show how serious he is about dealing with antisemitism.”
A Labour party spokesman said: “The Labour party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.
“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
The Labour party’s complaints procedure is confidential and therefore it was not able to provide official confirmation. Sources close to the party, however, confirmed that Sheridan had been suspended.
a former scottish labour mp, here, explaining that he no longer respects jews or feels empathy for their historic suffering. pic.twitter.com/gN1YAQ6hqe— euan mccolm (@euanmccolm) August 17, 2018