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Maxine Peake ‘clarifies’ claims Israel taught US police tactics that killed George Floyd

Actress Maxine Peake has condemned racism after she was accused of making anti-Semitic comments today in an interview with The Independent.

The 45-year-old Shameless star has come under fire after claiming Israeli secret forces taught US police tactics which killed George Floyd.

Peake, a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, also called for the overthrow of ‘capitalist, fascist dictators’ and ‘systemic racism’ by violent revolution.

Her comments have led to a political backlash, with Rebecca Long Bailey being sacked from the Labour frontbench after sharing the article.

The actress has now issued a clarification, insisting that she was ‘inaccurate in my assumption of American Police training & its sources’.

Actress Maxine Peake has condemned racism after she was accused of making anti-Semitic comments today in an interview with The Independent 

Actress Maxine Peake condemned racism today after she was accused of making anti-Semitic comments in an interview with The Independent

Actress Maxine Peake condemned racism today after she was accused of making anti-Semitic comments in an interview with The Independent

Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Labour frontbench after sharing the article

Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Labour frontbench after sharing the article

Peake said she finds ‘racism & antisemitism abhorrent & I in no way wished, nor intended, to add fodder to any views of the contrary’. 

Her statement, released nearly 12 hours after the Independent article was published, did not contain an explicit apology, however. 

‘I feel it’s important for me to clarify that, when talking to The Independent, I was inaccurate in my assumption of American Police training & its sources,’ she tweeted.

‘I find racism & antisemitism abhorrent & I in no way wished, nor intended, to add fodder to any views of the contrary.’ 

Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Labour frontbench by Keir Starmer today after retweeting a link to the article with the caption 'absolute diamond'.

Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Labour frontbench by Keir Starmer today after retweeting a link to the article with the caption ‘absolute diamond’.

Labour leader Keir Starmer (pictured left with Ms Long-Bailey in April) has been trying to rebuild trust with the Jewish community after the Corbyn era

In her interview with journalist Alexandra Pollard, Peake called ‘systemic racism’ a ‘global issue’ and called for the overthrow of ‘the establishment’. 

She then alleged: ‘The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.’

This statement has been denied by Israeli authorities.

Her comments were criticised as appearing to be a variation on the ‘blood libel’, where Jews are held responsible for the death of others.   

The 45-year-old Shameless star has come under fire after claiming Israeli secret forces taught US police tactics which killed George Floyd

The 45-year-old Shameless star has come under fire after claiming Israeli secret forces taught US police tactics which killed George Floyd 

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, who is Jewish and was a leading critic of Jeremy Corbyn, said: 'This is what zero tolerance looks like.' Jewish groups also lined up behind the move

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge, who is Jewish and was a leading critic of Jeremy Corbyn, said: ‘This is what zero tolerance looks like.’ Jewish groups also lined up behind the move

‘We’re being ruled by capitalist, fascist dictators. It’s entrenched, isn’t it?’ she said. 

‘We’ve got to the point where protecting capital is much more important than anybody’s life. How do we dig out of that? How do we change?

Calls for BBC to end Maxine Peake’s contract after latest in string of controversy for Corbynista former Shameless star who called for a violent revolution 

The BBC was today facing calls to end Maxine Peake’s contract after the latest in a string of controversies for the Corbynista Shameless star who has flaunted with Communism and once called for a violent revolution. 

Peake, 45, used an interview with the Independent to share an ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory’ that US police learned ‘neck-kneeling’ restrain techniques used on George Floyd from Israeli spies.

The comments – which led to Rebecca Long-Bailey being sacked from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet after she shared the article – are not the first time Peake has aired radical views that have prompted mainstream criticism.  

The actress was born in Bolton to a lorry driver father and care worker mother, but her parents separated when she was nine and she later moved in with her grandparents. 

BBC bosses were told to sack Peake after an interview with The Independent

BBC bosses were told to sack Peake after an interview with The Independent

Peake rose to national attention while playing Twinkle in Dinnerladies, a BBC sitcom that ran from 1998 to 2000.

Since then, she is best known for playing Veronica Ball in the hit comedy Shameless, and barrister Martha Costello in legal drama Silk.

She appeared in a revival of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, a role she said that she accepted ‘straight away’ before ‘spending the next few weeks in a state of high anxiety’. 

‘With what’s happening in America at the moment, it’s about financial control. It’s about keeping the poor in their place.  

‘I don’t know how we escape that cycle that’s indoctrinated into us all. Well, we get rid of it when we get rid of capitalism as far as I’m concerned. That’s what it’s all about. The establishment has got to go. We’ve got to change it.’

Peake campaigned for Labour at the December election, and also turned her fire on traditional Labour voters who felt unable to back the party under Corbyn. 

‘Those people who were normally Labour supporters who felt they couldn’t vote Labour? Well I’m sorry, they voted Tory as far as I’m concerned,’ she told the newspaper. ‘And it breaks my heart, because you know what? I didn’t like Tony Blair, but I still voted Labour because anything’s better than the Tories.

‘There’s a lot of people who should hang their heads in shame. People going, “Oh, I can join the Labour Party again because Keir Starmer’s there”, well shame on you.’

She also managed to throw in a backhanded jibe at Sir Keir himself, saying: ‘I think people will get behind Starmer, won’t they? He’s a more acceptable face of the Labour Party for a lot of people who are not really left wing. But that’s fine. Whatever. As long as the Tories get out, I don’t care anymore.’

In her interview with The Independent, Peake also praised the role of actors in the world, adding: ‘I’m not saying we are the saviours of the human race, but a lot of people have a television.’

Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Labour frontbench by Keir Starmer today after retweeting a link to the article with the caption ‘absolute diamond’.  

After her sacking, Ms Long Bailey said she had merely ‘retweeted an interview that my constituent and stalwart Labour Party supporter Maxine Peake gave’.

‘Its main thrust was anger with the Conservative government’s handling of the current emergency and a call for Labour Party unity,’ she said. 

‘These are sentiments are shared by everyone in our movement and millions of people in our country.’ 

‘I could not do this in good conscience without the issuing of a press statement of clarification,’ she said. ‘I had asked to discuss these matters with Keir before agreeing what further action to take, but sadly he had already made his decision.’ 

Sir Keir justified his action, telling the BBC: ‘The sharing of that article was wrong, because the article contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.’  

Peake has frequently railed against the ‘crippling austerity measures’ and in 2017 backed the use of violence to install Corbyn as Prime Minister.

Asked if she wanted a peaceful or violent revolution, she replied ‘both’: ‘You can’t have a peaceful revolution now. Terrible thing to say. But we need a coup!’ 

In 2019, she co-signed a letter backing him in the election, lauding the former Labour leader for his stance against ‘far-right nationalism, xenophobia and racism’. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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