The Labour Party has suspended a councillor who said that “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis” and referenced “Zionists’ attempts to influence our political processes”, adding for good measure that those supposed efforts were “racist”.
Andy Kay, who had been serving as a cabinet member for finance and governance on Darwen Council in Lancashire, has been suspended pending an investigation following revelations by the JC of his social media history.
Cllr Kay also wrote that “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis” in 2014 in a post on Facebook that was reportedly ‘liked’ by Kate Hollern MP, who went on to become a Labour MP and Private Parliamentary Secretary to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. She subsequently apologised.
In 2018, Cllr Kay also shared an article on social media describing Labour’s antisemitism crisis as a “blatant attempt to undermine Corbyn’s leadership”, adding the remark about Zionists. In the comments section of that post in a discussion about the International Definition of Antisemitism, Cllr Kay also said: “I was taught that Judaism was/is a religion, not a nation. In fact one of the tenets of Judaism prohibits the nation state… but I suppose that also depends on which wing of the fantasy you believe.”
Three days later, Cllr Kay reportedly shared an article that claimed that the Definition was “designed by Israeli propagandists to aid their many mass lobby attempts” and referenced the “largely-mythical antisemitism ‘crisis’ in the Labour Party,” which was described as “one of the few tools left to ailing and desperate establishment hacks wanting to smear Corbyn and maintain UK support for Israel.”
In 2019, Cllr Kay shared yet another article, which he described as “food for thought….. real thought!”, that portrayed Labour’s antisemitism crisis as part of a “disgraceful environment” of “disinformation and downright lies cooked up by those with vested interests and promoted by the billionaire offshore owners of the press and fellow travellers such as [the Jewish Labour then-MP] Ruth Smeeth.”
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In the first release of its Antisemitism in Political Parties research, Campaign Against Antisemitism showed that Labour Party candidates for Parliament in the 2019 general election accounted for 82 percent of all incidents of antisemitic discourse by parliamentary candidates.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far-left of British politics has surpassed that of the far-right.