Jeremy Corbyn has sent his "warmest congratulations" to a newly elected Labour councillor facing an ongoing investigation into allegations of antisemitism.
The Labour leader wrote: "With every conversation you had on the doorstep, every leaflet you delivered, every call you made, every comment or share on social media, you delivered Labour's message."
Sam Gorst – who won the Cressington seat on Liverpool City Council by just 70 votes earlier this month - is facing a probe into comments he made on social media. Those include a defence of Ken Livingstone, whom Mr Gorst said was the subject of an "antisemitism witchhunt", and a succession of messages branding Jewish MP Luciana Berger a “hideous traitor” and “backstabber” dating back to 2016, when she was she campaigning for Labour.
Momentum activist Mr Gorst proudly posted the email sent to him by “Jeremy and his team” on social media last week. The letter had been sent to all elected councillors.
The Labour leader wrote: "Dear Sam, I want to send you my warmest congratulations on your election as a Labour councillor at last week’s local council elections.”
He added: "Your success is down to your own dedication and hard work throughout the campaign as well as the commitment of local Labour activists who are the backbone of the party.”
But in social media posts seen by the JC, Mr Gorst had openly branded Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger a "hideous traitor" in 2016 when she launched a bid to become the city's mayor.
In further posts, he bizarrely described the Jewish Voice for Labour Group as "a more fitting group for the Labour membership" than the Jewish Labour Movement - even though Mr Gorst is not Jewish himself.
Cllr Gorst also defended Pete Willsman, who ranted about Jewish people being "Trump fanatics and all the rest of it" during a meeting of Labour's National Executive Committee.
In another post, he shared someone else's claim that they could not "differentiate between Nazism and Zionism as two criminal regimes in this picture" alongside images of the Gaza Strip's border with Israel and a concentration camp fence.