General election: Labour candidate sacked over 'antisemitic social media posts'

Jeremy Corbyn has faced fresh pressure over the handling of antisemitism complaints

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Thursday 28 November 2019 11:52 GMT
(Safia Ali/Twitter)

Labour has sacked its general election candidate in Falkirk over allegations she made a series of antisemitic social media posts.

In a blow to the party's hopes north of the border, Labour was forced to remove Safia Ali as its candidate in the Scottish constituency after it was informed of antisemitic posts on an old Facebook page.

It it understood that the posts were missed by Labour during the candidate vetting process as they were made on an old account that Ms Ali no longer used.

The news comes as Jeremy Corbyn faced fresh pressure over the handling of antisemitism complaints which have dogged Labour under his leadership.

Labour said it "deeply regrets" the selection of Ms Ali, whose removal will leave voters without a Labour candidate in the December election.

A Labour spokesperson said: "Safia Ali is no longer the Labour Party’s candidate for Falkirk. We have taken immediate action on this matter.

"We deeply regret that Safia Ali was selected and that Labour members and supporters will not have a Labour candidate to campaign and vote for.

"We are campaigning to get Labour MPs elected across Scotland and elect a Labour government to end austerity and invest £100 billion in Scotland's public services, people and communities over the next 10 years."

Falkirk was held by Labour MP Eric Joyce from its creation in 2005 until the 2015 election, where it was won by the SNP's John McNally with a whopping 19,700 majority.

It comes after a tough few days for Labour, following the Chief Rabbi's explosive intervention in the campaign, where he questioned whether Mr Corbyn was fit to be prime minister.

In an article in The Times, Ephraim Mirvais claimed that the “new poison” of antisemitism that had taken root in the party was “sanctioned from the top”.

Mr Corbyn refused to apologise four times for the handling of complaints of anti-Jewish sentiment in his party during a bruising encounter with the BBC's Andrew Neil.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives have withdrawn support for their Glasgow Central candidate Flora Scarabello for allegedly using Islamophobic language.

A spokesman said: "We take allegations like this extremely seriously.

"There is no place in the Scottish Conservatives for anti-Muslim language, or any other form of racial or religious discrimination.

"As such, we have immediately suspended the candidate and the complaint will be thoroughly investigated."

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