Labour’s highest disciplinary committee, the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), has dismissed charges against a parliamentary candidate after she was investigated over tweets about antisemitism and a Jewish MP’s “Zionist sympathies”.
Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt, who joined the party when Jeremy Corbyn became leader, was chosen to be candidate for South Thanet in April 2018.
But in December, Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) said it would not back her, over tweets from the think tank she founded, the Centre for Cultural Change.
As revealed by the Guido Fawkes blog, the Twitter account associated with the think tank tweeted messages during 2016 and 2017 dismissing antisemitism in Labour.
In April 2016, it described the suspension of Ken Livingstone over his comments on Hitler and Zionism as the “result of a campaign to smear Jeremy Corbyn as antisemitic, orchestrated by the Israel lobby”
It also tweeted: “Has anyone looked into Hitler’s policy on Zionism? Might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions.”
Wrting on Wednesday, Ms Gordon Nesbitt wrote that the NCC “has found the charges lodged against me to have been unproven.”
She also said she hoped the NEC would “review its decision” about endorsing her candidacy.
The Centre for Cultural Change's Twitter account also tweeted about what it called the “Zionist sympathies” of John Bercow, the speaker of the House, who is Jewish”.
It claimed the case of far-left activist Jackie Walker, who has since been expelled from Labour, showed “antisemitism has been weaponised by those who seek to silence anti-Zionist voices.”
As Guido Fawkes revealed, Ms Gordon Nesbitt had registered the think tank’s website and accounts showed no other employees.
She claimed to have “occasionally contributed” to the Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account “well before I decided to stand as a parliamentary candidate”, and said the tweets had been “taken out of context…to imply that I was antisemitic”.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms. All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures.
“The NEC did not endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt as the Labour Party candidate for South Thanet.”
A Labour Party source said: “This was a decision by the National Constitutional Committee, the disciplinary body which makes decisions independently of party staff. The party’s Governance and Legal Unit brings cases against individuals and the National Constitutional Committee makes the judgements.”