Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the shadow cabinet after sharing an article containing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, the party has said.
Ms Long-Bailey had shared an interview from actress Maxine Peake, tweeting: “Maxine Peake is an absolute diamond.”
She subsequently wrote: “I retweeted Maxine Peake’s article because of her significant achievements and because the thrust of her argument is to stay in the Labour Party. It wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article.”
In the interview, actress Peake claims that US police learnt the practice of kneeling on people’s necks “from seminars with Israeli secret services”.
A spokesman for Sir Keir Starmer said: “This afternoon Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the Shadow Cabinet. The article Rebecca shared earlier today contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Antisemitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”
Peake said: “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”
The Independent article adds: “A spokesperson for the Israeli police has denied this, stating that “there is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway.”