No response from Starmer after front-bencher shares article with ‘gratuitous’ rich-Israeli headline, to fury of left MPs

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Guardian article about relationship between owner of two UK businesses and minister Robert Jenrick described businessman as ‘Israeli billionaire’, despite lack of relevance of nationality to story. Steve Reed has so far not been disciplined for sharing

Keir Starmer has infuriated MPs and Labour supporters by failing to take action against Steve Reed, after the Shadow Communities shared an article whose headline they consider to contain a classic antisemitic ‘trope’ about rich Jews.

Reed shared a Guardian article about the relationship between under-pressure Tory minister Robert Jenrick and the owner of a mining firm in the north-east, who also owns a London-based corporation – and a meeting they had while Jenrick was considering a request for financial support from a rival mining firm.

UK minister, two UK mining firm bosses, one a ‘family friend’ – yet the Guardian decided to include in its headline that the owner Jenrick met was an ‘Israeli billionaire’.

Just two days before, Starmer had sacked of former Shadow Education secretary – in reality to clear the way for Starmer’s support for Boris Johnson’s school-return plan, but ostensibly for sharing an Independent article that mentioned, toward its end, the fact that US police receive training in Israel and may have picked up the ‘knee on the neck’ restraint technique there.

The significance of Reed’s tweet in the wake of Long-Bailey’s removal was quickly recognised by Twitter users and fellow Labour MPs.

Author Andrew Godsell challenged Reed directly:

And within hours, furious MPs had contacted the SKWAWKBOX to ask for coverage of the tweet and Starmer’s non-action. One told the SKWAWKBOX:

The reference to Ofer’s nationality is completely gratuitous, it has no relevance to an article about a minister’s chats with owners of two UK mining companies. The antisemitic significance of linking Jews with wealth is far worse than a comment about exchange visits by police and if Keir doesn’t act, he’s making a mockery of his sacking of Becky and of his supposed commitment to zero tolerance.

Another said:

Steve Reed’s “More Jenrick revelations” tweet can’t possibly be acceptable when RLB [Long-Bailey] was sacked for re-tweeting an article in the Indy by her friend and constituent Maxine Peak because LOTO considered it antisemitic.

Steve Reed’s tweet of a Guardian article references an Israeli billionaire Tory donor. By the same logic that saw Becky Long-Bailey sacked – why isn’t it considered that Steve Reed’s tweet is propagating an ‘antisemitic conspiracy theory’ in contravention of the IHRA definition? Will he be sacked?

The SKWAWKBOX contacted both Keir Starmer and Steve Reed about Reed’s tweet, to ask why it should pass unpunished after Long-Bailey’s sacking. Neither has responded.

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