By Adam Moses
Conservative MPs have called on Labour Leader Keir Starmer to sack Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Steve Reed for posting a classic anti-Semitic trope about a Jewish businessman.
Reed “apologised unreservedly” following growing criticism for offensive language suggesting a Conservative donor Richard Desmond was “the puppet master to the entire Tory cabinet”.
The anti-Semitic tweet related to Labour’s viewpoint involving Desmond and Housing Minister Robert Jenrick in a planning debate.
Reed tweeted, “Is billionaire former porn-baron Desmond the puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet?”.
Reed subsequently accepted his post was “inappropriate” and deleted it when he realised his error.
“I want to apologise unreservedly for the language in the tweet I posted on Saturday. It was inappropriate and as soon as I realised my error I deleted it,” Reed noted.
Andrew Percy MP, Conservative co-chair of All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism however has called on Starmer to sack Reed if he is “serious” about tackling antisemitism.
“Alluding to Jews as puppet-masters is an age old anti-Semitic trope and for a Shadow Cabinet member to use this trope is totally unacceptable,” he reportedly noted.
Should Starmer not dismiss Reed, Percy added, British people would conclude his action against Long-Bailey was “out of political convenience rather than principle”.
Nicola Richards, Conservative MP for West Bromwich East, was “shocked and appalled” by Reed’s comment.
“It is completely acceptable for a member of your Shadow Cabinet to use such deeply hurtful language,” she reportedly noted in a letter to Starmer.
Richards added, “When you became leader of the Labour Party you said you would rid Labour of anti-Semites.”
Starmer when asked about the issue on LBC radio on Monday said he not seen the tweet but would look into it. Not long after, Reed issued his statement.
A Labour spokesperson said, “Steve deleted the tweet and did not mean to cause any offence.”
It is understood no further action will be taken.
Campaign Against Antisemitism view a notion of Jews being all-powerful puppet-masters is a classic anti-Semitic trope.
In related news, Waterstones is to reportedly remove from sale books by David Icke after one of his controversial books was on sale at a branch in Southport.
CAA for a number of years have warned Icke using social media, his books and stage performances to incite hatred towards Jewish people.
Meantime, anti-Semite Gilad Atzmon has condemned Google for deleting a Youtube channel of convicted French anti-Semite Dieudonné M’bala M’bala.
M’bala M’bala has been convicted for hate speech and backing terrorism in France and Belgium.
Aztmon tweeted, “This morning we learn that Black Voices do not matter at all.”
CAA noted Atzmon reportedly blamed the Grenfell Tower tragedy on “Jerusalemites” and informed university students that “Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.”
“He is not shy about his anti-Semitism,” added CAA who have won a defamation court case against Atzmon.
Brexit leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, has been criticised for use of conspiratorial language.
CAA noted, “While these tropes are not necessarily anti-Semitic in isolation, Mr Farage’s repeated use, which are very popular in far-right circles, has led to wide condemnation.”
Percy reportedly said, “These conspiracy theories have real world and dangerous consequences and are without question anti-Semitic.”
He added, “Farage needs to cut it out before he causes further harm by providing further fuel to racist anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories.”
Catherine McKinnell, Percy’s Labour co-Chair, added: “His choice of language, which echoes some of that circulating amongst the far-right online, is worrying and getting worse.”