Stevenage Labour candidate suspended amid allegations of antisemitism
PUBLISHED: 12:48 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 02 May 2018
A Labour candidate standing in tomorrow's Stevenage Borough Council elections has been suspended by the party after commenting about "Jew propaganda" and sharing an allegedly antisemitic cartoon on social media.
Former solicitor Irfan Javed is standing in the Woodfield ward, but the Comet understands he has been suspended by Labour ahead of the ballot after it emerged he shared a picture on Facebook in 2014 which has been called antisemitic.
The cartoon shows a Nazi soldier stood next to a Jewish boy under the caption ‘Nazism’, with an Israeli soldier next to a Palestinian boy under the caption ‘Zionism’. Underneath, it says “History repeating itself?”
Zionism is the historic movement supporting the existence of a Jewish homeland in the ancient Land of Israel, which was later also called Palestine. Critics have suggested that, along with anti-Zionist feeling within the Labour Party, there is also some antisemitism – which is a hatred of the Jewish race.
In another Facebook post from 2014, the father-of-three links to a story from the Independent with the headline ‘Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb’ which he calls “Jew propaganda” and comments: “I am just suspicious. This is what Jewish dominated western media usually does.”
Mr Javed says in his manifesto that he “passionately believes in the Labour Party’s values of equality, tolerance, community and solidarity”.
He adds that he “wants to become a councillor to help current and future Labour councillors continue to put those values into action in Stevenage”.
Mr Javed is the latest Labour member to be suspended over allegations of antisemitism, with the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn coming under fire for the way allegations have been handled.
When the Comet contacted the party, it said it cannot comment on individuals – but a spokesman said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously, which are fully investigated and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken in line with our procedures.
“We are committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms.”
Mr Javed has been approached for comment, but the Comet is yet to receive a response.