Antisemitism in Political Parties

Maria Carroll

2019: Labour parliamentary candidate, Carmarthen East & Dinefwr


  1. On 26th April 2017, Maria Carroll posted in the closed Facebook group ‘Labour Party Compliance – Expulsions Suspensions Rejections Co-op’, which offered support and advice to Labour members facing disciplinary charges, including antisemitism, and of which she was reportedly an administrator. She wrote: [a] “It appears the Campaign Against Antisemitism is continuing its campaign. It has succeeded in ridding the Lib Dems of a couple of their candidates today and continues to attack any Labour candidate who has ever dared to support Palestine. Using the ‘definition’ it is having major successes. Here is their latest target. [b] They post. Labour suspends. Lib Dems suspend. Has anyone seen a Tory suspended yet? Odd that.”

    She shared an image taken from an article published by Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) on 24th April 2017, relating to the case of Mike Sivier, a Labour council candidate suspended from the Party for disseminating antisemitic discourse, and who was then permanently excluded from the Labour Party because he refused to take an educational study programme in antisemitism.

  1. On 27th April 2017, responding to a comment in the exchange which followed her post, she wrote: [a] “I posted this to show that Mike is being targeted. The fact that a lib dem has been targeted too shows imo [in my opinion] that anyone who supports Palestine is now at risk because of the way that the definition is being used. This is now wider than just Corbyn supporters being targeted and smacks of a bigger agenda, a wider network etc.”

    The Liberal Democrat candidates to whom Ms Carroll was referring were Councillor David Ward, who had been suspended on 26th April 2017, and Ashuk Ahmed, who had been suspended on 25th April 2017.

    One commenter responded: [b] “CAA as has become their usual practice, bend the truth or just outright lie, Mike appears to be a genuine, honest, caring prospective MP [sic]”, to which another replied: “The UK has a problem, free speech is being targeted behind false anti-Semitic claims. The adopted definition for anti-Semitism in the UK has to be challenged as it is not fit for purpose.” Ms Carroll endorsed this, saying: [c] “It is most certainly being used to prevent any form of criticism in any shape or form of the Israeli government and its actions even when they are criticised by the United Nations.”


Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Ms Carroll’s actions and statements amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism and qualify as antisemitic discourse according to our methodology.

By alleging that the true motive of CAA, a charity combatting antisemitism, is simply to “attack” those who “dared to support Palestine”, rather than fighting against anti-Jewish racism [1a] [2a]; by endorsing the assertion that “free speech is being targeted by false anti-Semitic [sic] claims” [2b]; and by endorsing the assertion that CAA uses “outright lie(s)” and that their accusations of antisemitism were being made in order to “prevent any form of criticism in any shape or form of the Israeli government and its actions” [2c], she was was deploying the so-called Livingstone Formulation, by accusing Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so in cases where there is clear evidence that there have been breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism. As such, she was “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Moreover, by positing the existence of a conspiracy between the Campaign Against Antisemitism involving “a bigger agenda, [and] a wider network” [2a], as well as implying that CAA, for hidden reasons, fails to tackle equivalent allegations of antisemitism in the Conservative Party [1b], she was further “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about…Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”

Additionally, by asserting that the aim of Campaign Against Antisemitism is to “attack” those who “dared to support Palestine” [1a] in order to “prevent any form of criticism in any shape or form of the Israeli government and its actions” [2c], she was “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”


On 16th November 2019, Ms Carroll’s involvement in the ‘Labour Party Compliance – Expulsions Suspensions Rejections Co-op’ group was revealed, and it was reported that Ms Carroll had personally advised members accused of having disseminated posts featuring Holocaust denial, including Alan Bull. However, Ms Carroll reportedly claimed not to have seen the posts in question, saying that, had she done so, she would have immediately condemned them and insisting that she was “an outspoken critic of antisemitism in [the] party.”

It was further reported that she claimed to have joined the secret group when “Left-wing members were being suspended from the Labour Party to prevent them from voting in the 2016 Labour leadership election.” She reportedly added: “When a small number in the group took an antisemitic conspiratorial direction I left it.” It was noted that her most recent post in the group had apparently been in May 2019.

On 17th November 2019, it was reported that an investigation into Ms Carroll’s conduct had been instigated, and that she had sought to emphasise her opposition to antisemitism, posting on Twitter that her father had “fought in WW2 helping to liberate Auschwitz.” We note that the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet troops in January 1945. Ms Carroll has also claimed that her father fought at Dunkirk, implying that he was not a Soviet soldier.

It was further reported that Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford had said: “I am of course concerned of reports on the actions taken by Maria Carroll. Welsh Labour acted immediately and referred these matters to the Governance and Legal Unit of the UK Labour Party for investigation. I have consistently made it clear that anti-Semitism [sic] has no place in our party or in Wales.”

However, also on 17th November 2019, it was reported that the Labour Party had dismissed the referral made by Welsh Labour because they said that Ms Carroll had not been accused of making antisemitic comments and had claimed not to have seen any.

On 18th November 2019, it was reported that, although Ms Carroll claimed to have left the Facebook group “when it took an anti-Semitic [sic] conspiratorial direction”, she was still apparently posting comments there in late October 2019.

It was further reported that senior figures within Welsh Labour had told BBC Wales that they were concerned at the UK party’s decision not to proceed with an investigation into Ms Carroll’s role in the group. A Labour Party source was reported as saying: “We previously investigated the Facebook group as a whole. We did not find antisemitic comments by Maria Carroll or comments by her which would amount to a breach of party rules. We did find comments by other members of the group which resulted in their swift suspensions.”

One source was reported as saying that the Party centrally had not received any complaints about Ms Carroll, and BBC Wales was reportedly told that UK Labour had not considered Welsh Labour informing them of the story as a complaint. However, a senior source within Welsh Labour reportedly told BBC Wales: “I just assumed someone would step in and do something after Mark Drakeford made that statement. I was gobsmacked when UK Labour said there’s been no complaint so we’re not investigating. Another Welsh Labour source reportedly said: “Mark wanted it looked at. The UK party needs to explain why this hasn’t happened.”

At the time of writing, on 28th November 2019, Ms Carroll’s Twitter account is protected.

Also at the time of writing, on 28th November 2019, we do not know the circumstances under which it was decided by the Labour Party that no investigation would proceed against Ms Carroll. However, the circumstances and outcomes of any future action would remain unknown, owing to the conditions of secrecy imposed by Baroness Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.

In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to Ms Carroll, but did not receive a response.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is grateful to activists who provided us with the evidence of Ms Carroll’s statements with regard to our charity.


Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “bad”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 4th December 2019.