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Call for Labour Hall Green candidate to stand-down over 'anti-Semitic' Facebook posts

Alison Gove-Humphries under fire for sharing Jewish conspiracy theories on social media

A Labour council candidate faced calls to step down just hours after she won the nomination amid claims she shared anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli posts on social media.

Alison Gove-Humphries, a keen supporter of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was selected to stand for election in Hall Green in May.

But now she is accused of sharing anti-Semitic posts promoting Jewish conspiracy theories on her Facebook account: one accusing Israel of selling oil smuggled from ISIS territories and another saying that Israel ‘manufactured’ last year's Labour Party anti-semitism row and inquiry.

The controversial posts emerged on political blog Guido Fawkes .

Mrs Gove-Humphries’ Facebook page is only visible to friends and associates but the Birmingham Mail understands the posts have been removed.

Labour Cllr Barry Henley (Brandwood) said: “These are clearly anti-Semitic postings. In my view there should be a Labour Party investigation into Ms Gove-Humphries membership and suitability to be a candidate and in the meantime a new candidate should be put in place.

"As a Jewish member of the Labour Party have written to them and asking for an investigation.”

Mrs Gove-Humphries has launched a second Facebook account in the last couple of days with posts showing Labour councillors and activists, including leader John Clancy, out on the campaign trail over the weekend.

In a statement issued today she said the postings had been shared without comment and taken out of context and defended her track record: "I am extremely saddened by the allegation that my private Facebook posts were anti-Semitic.

" I merely shared a link to third party posts with no commentary or opinion. I share many topical new pieces across a broad spectrum on my Facebook account and it is clear to me these old posts have been taken completely out of context.

" I entirely refute Cllr Barry Hendley’s comment that “These are clearly anti-Semitic postings”. I have worked in education for 37 years and am proud of my record on promoting equalities and diversity both through my history teaching and as a Senior School Improvement Adviser for Birmingham City Council, where I worked on the equalities team."

She said she had hosted events in which Holocaust survivors spoke to school children about the experience, has co-produced articles for the Holocaust Education Trust and co-ordinated Black History Month events in Birmingham - demonstrating her commitment to diversity.

"In order to avoid any further instances of intrusion and misrepresentation, I have deactivated my Facebook account and I have opened a separate account. I do not believe I have done anything unlawful. I will continue to serve the Labour Party and its local constituents to the best of my ability and I do not want to be distracted by these hurtful allegations. It goes without saying that if there is any Labour party investigation into this matter then I will co-operate fully and openly."

The by-election was prompted by the resignation of Sam Burden from the council last week, due to work commitments. The seat is a target for both the Tories and Lib Dems who see Labour as vulnerable.

The West Midlands Labour Party has declined to comment.

Last year, following the exposure of anti-semitism in the Labour Party and suspensions of former London mayor Ken Livingstone and Bradford MP Naz Shah, there was an inquiry into anti-Semitism.

Two leading Birmingham councillors have also been disciplined for anti-Israeli comments or social media posts.

Former cabinet member for equalities Cllr Waseem Zaffar was criticised for comments at a pro-Palestine rally in 2014 - although his otherwise strong stance on anti-Semtism saw him warned by the Party.

While scrutiny committee chairman Zafar Iqbal apologised for sharing Jewish conspiracy material on his Facebook page - although he said he had no idea how they got there.


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