Christine Shawcroft, the Labour official at the centre of an anti-Semitism row, has said she is stepping down from the party’s ruling body, with comedian Eddie Izzard replacing her.
Ms Shawcroft – who has already resigned as chairman of the disputes panel – has been under pressure to quit her post on the national executive committee (NEC) after it emerged she opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial.
In a statement, she said: ‘It has been a privilege to serve on the Labour Party national executive committee for the last 19 years, and I was standing down in September in any event. I have, however, decided to resign with immediate effect.
‘It is clear that my continued membership of the NEC has become a distraction for the Party and an excuse for endless intrusive media harassment of myself, my family and friends.’
Comedian Eddie Izzard (pictured at last year’s Labour conference in Brighton) is set to replace Christine Shawcroft on the party’s ruling body
Christine Shawcroft, the Labour official at the centre of an anti-Semitism row, has said she is stepping down from the party’s ruling body
Ms Shawcroft added: ‘I reaffirm my complete opposition to anti-Semitism and my abhorrence of Holocaust denial, and support all measures to tackle this within the party.
‘And I pledge my full energy to securing for our country the Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn that it so desperately needs.’
She caused further anger with a Facebook posting – subsequently taken down – claiming the row was being ‘stirred up to attack Jeremy, as we all know’.
Although she has since said that she was ‘deeply sorry’ to the way she handled the complaint of Holocaust denial and that she will not stand again for the NEC when her post comes up for re-election in the summer, Labour leader Tom Watson had earlier said she should go now.
‘There is a problem with Christine Shawcroft who tried to hold up an inquiry into someone accused of Holocaust denial and then said the accusations were whipped up against Jeremy,’ he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Comedian Eddie Izzard will take her place on the committee, BBC News reports.
Ms Shawcroft had been under pressure since it emerged she opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial
Labour MP Wes Streeting previously said: ‘Even when caught red handed defending a Holocaust denier, Christine Shawcroft still dismisses genuine concerns about antisemitism.
‘Enough is enough. Christine Shawcroft must resign from the NEC immediately. She has no shame.’
The activist, Alan Bull, a Labour candidate for Peterborough Council, had been suspended for posting a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax.’
It was accompanied with a picture of the famous gates of Auschwitz, with the phrase ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ [work sets you free] replaced with ‘Muh Holocaust’.
This phrase is apparently used by opponents of Israel to allege that whenever anyone criticises it to a Jewish person, they will start talking about the Holocaust to deflect attention.
The activist, Alan Bull, a Labour candidate for Peterborough Council, had been suspended for posting a link on Facebook to a fake news article titled: ‘International Red Cross Report Confirms the Holocaust of Six Million Jews is a Hoax’
In his Passover video message, Mr Corbyn said he wanted to ‘remember all our Jewish brothers and sisters, who have battled against discrimination and faced the most horrific acts of violence and mass murder’.
He referred to ‘rising levels of anti-Semitism around the world’, pointing the finger at right-wingers in Poland and France.
But admitting that problems were harder to see ‘closer to home’, he added: ‘We in the labour movement will never be complacent about antisemitism.
‘We all need to do better. I am committed to ensuring the Labour Party is a welcoming and secure place for Jewish people.’