On 28th November 2018, it was reported that Ms Rayner had apologised after the exposure of her Facebook post had caused outrage in the British Jewish community.
Ms Rayner reportedly said: “I was reflecting on my visits to Auschwitz and speaking about the importance of remembering the Holocaust in order to continually challenge and confront antisemitism. I regret the choice of quote I used to illustrate it, and now that I know more about the context I would not make that reference again. I apologise for what was a genuine misunderstanding, in what was always intended to be a message of solidarity with the Jewish community. This underscores the importance of engagement with the Jewish community to improve understanding about this issue.”
It was further reported that, in her Facebook post, Ms Rayner had commented on her visits to the Nazi death camps, saying: “My previous visit was in 2003 and I couldn’t help but notice the increased commercialism and tourism related to the Holocaust era in the Kracow region.”
A number of Labour MPs with close links to the Jewish community had reportedly questioned Ms Rayner’s suitability to address the Board of Deputies’ Chanukah celebration, which was due to take place on 4th December. Attention was drawn to a tweet she had posted in September 2018 (after the Labour Party had faced months of scrutiny over its resistance to adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism with examples), for which she had been criticised, and which she had reportedly defended, saying: “It was smears against Labour Party in general, no mention of antisemitism smears? Our membership continues to grow despite hostility from sections of the MSM.” The Board of Deputies is a Jewish charity.
We do not know whether disciplinary action has been taken by the Labour Party against Ms Rayner, and at the time of writing, on 11th December 2018, we have no record of any. However, the circumstances and outcomes of any such action would remain unknown, owing to the conditions of secrecy imposed by Baroness Chakrabarti’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
In November 2019, Campaign Against Antisemitism put this matter to Ms Rayner, but did not receive a response.