Labour leadership contender, Jess Phillips, has reportedly suspended her constituency office manager and key aide, Salma Hamid, for posting offensive tweets, including one accusing Israel of “inflicting Holocaust conditions on Palestinians.”
Problematic tweets have been uncovered which Ms Hamid reportedly posted 2014 and 2016, before she joined Ms Phillips’ office. In one exchange, Ms Hamid wrote: “We must show the world that ‘Israel’ is the murderer!” She also claimed that: “Israel IS inflicting Holocaust conditions on Palestinians! Oppressive, racist and violent!”
In another message, Ms Hamid appeared to equate Israel with the Islamic State: “Because Israel obeys human rights/law? Hilarious! Isis are terrible too. So really there is no difference.”
In a statement released on Twitter, Ms Phillips, who is the MP for Birmingham Yardley, said: “Yesterday evening I was shown some completely unacceptable messages posted by a member of my team prior to her employment with me. I have been clear from the outset that we need a zero tolerance approach to antisemitism in the party – and so the person involved was suspended with immediate effect.”
She added: “This is the right thing to do and the only way to start building a bridge again with the Jewish community. I’m unable to comment further now that a disciplinary process is underway.”
It has also emerged that St Paul’s Community Development Trust, a charity based in Balsall Heath of which Ms Hamid was chair of the board of trustees, has also suspended her following the revelations. Ms Hamid was appointed to the role in October of last year. The charity stated that it “aims to create a culture that respects and values people’s differences, that promotes dignity, equality and diversity and that encourages individuals to develop and maximise their true potential.”
On 28th May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.