Labour’s Colin Monehen had already drawn “widespread applause at the 2018 Labour Party conference with his impassioned pro-Palestinian speech,” says The Jewish Chronicle.
By World Israel News Staff
A U.K. Labour Party activist considered a leading prospect to be a candidate for parliament has “defended a notorious anti-Semitic image” showing the picture of an alien with a Star of David on it grasping the Statue of Liberty, reports The Jewish Chronicle (JC).
The image reportedly was earlier published on a far-right, white supremacist website, according to British media reports.
However, says the JC, Labour’s Colin Monehen argues that it can be interpreted as “being about the state of Israel, not the Jewish people.”
Monehen could be a Labour parliamentary candidate representing Epping Forest, a district which borders London.
He had already drawn “widespread applause at the 2018 Labour Party conference with his impassioned pro-Palestinian speech,” says the Jewish British news outlet.
The image reportedly was shared by Kayla Bibby, also a Labour Party member, several months ago on social media. The 33-year-old Bibby added the caption: “The most accurate photo I’ve seen all year!”
MPs challenged the Labour leadership over the case. “MPs described [it] as anti-Semitic,” reported The Times in March.
Despite the outrage, an ally of Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn recommended against Bibby’s suspension from the party, it said.
The London paper identified the Corbyn ally as Thomas Gardiner, who had been appointed as Labour’s “director of governance and legal” last year to oversee compliance at party headquarters.
But, according to The Times, Gardiner “rejected a suggestion that… Bibby should be suspended after a complaint was made.” Instead, he ruled that the social media post was “anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish,” said the London daily.
However, according to JC, Labour did suspend an activist in Liverpool Riverside after Dame Louise Ellman, the MP who has now resigned from the party, had repeatedly complained about the circulation of the image.
Monehen is to appear before Epping Forest Labour members on Wednesday night to convince them to choose him to contend for the parliamentary seat, the Jewish paper reports.