Mr Reed deleted his tweet within a matter of hours.
On 5th July 2020, it was reported that Mr Reed had been criticised by the Conservative MP Andrew Percy, who sits on the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, who said: “Alluding to Jews as puppet-masters is an age old antisemitic trope and for a Shadow Cabinet member to use this trope is totally unacceptable. If Keir Starmer was serious about tackling antisemitism he would sack Steve Reed on the spot. Otherwise the British people will rightly conclude the action taken against Rebecca Long-Bailey last week was done out of political convenience rather than principle.”
It was further reported that a source described as “close to” Mr Reed had said: “Steve did not know Richard Desmond was Jewish. He deleted the tweet and did not mean to cause any offence.”
On 6th July 2020, Sir Keir Starmer was interviewed on LBC and, when asked whether Mr Reed would be facing disciplinary action for his tweet in , Sir Keir replied that he hadn’t seen the tweet or discussed it with Mr Reed, but that he would do so once the interview was over.
Later that day, Mr Reed tweeted: “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.”
We do not know whether disciplinary action has been taken by the Labour Party against Mr Reed, and at the time of writing, on 9th August 2020, we have no record of any. However, the circumstances and outcomes of any such action would remain unknown, owing to the conditions of secrecy imposed by Baroness Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
In August 2020, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to both Mr Reed and the Labour Party, but did not receive a response.