A former secrrtary of the Brighton and Hove Momentum group has been suspended by Labour ahead of an investigation into alleged antisemitism.
The party took action against Greg Hadfield as he posted a series of messages on social media in response to the antisemitism scandal that has engulfed Brighton’s Labour Group.
On Monday evening after two Brighton Labour councillors resigned from the party while facing antisemitism investigations Mr Hadfield tweeted:”I haven’t mentioned this in a while: The state of Israel is a racist endeavour. And always has been.”
In further posts he attacked local Labour MP Peter Kyle, who had welcomed moves by his party to investigate allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Group.
Mr Hadfield also retweeted two tweets from former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who has previously been accused of “Jew-baiting” by the Board of Deputies ahead of his exit from the party ahead of the last General Election.
It is not the first time Mr Hadfield has been suspended by Labour.
During an earlier suspension, he was as an exec with the city’s Momentum branch which selected the three councillors who have been accused in recent weeks of alleged antisemitism.
Asked to comment on Mr Hadfield’s latest suspension a Labour Party spokesperson said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken."
It is understood Mr Hadfield is administratively suspended from the party pending the investigation into his conduct.
The Green Party took control of Brighton and Hove City Council on Thursday evening as a result of the resignations from the Labour Group by councillors accused of antisemitism.
The JC reported this week how Councillors Nichole Brennan and Kate Knight had both quit Labour while being investigated for antisemitism – while a third councillor Anne Pissaridou was suspended last week for her Facebook posts.
The trio were all on Mr Hadfield’s Momentum slate of council candidates at last year’s elections.
At a Council meeting on Thursday evening, the council’s former Labour leader Nancy Platts said she was “proud of the achievements” of her administration as she stood down from her post.
Ms Platts failed to apologise for a spate of instances of alleged anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Group which had angered the local Jewish community.
Sitting now as independents, Ms Knight as Ms Brennan both voted in favour of the new Green administration.
As a result of the resignations the Greens have become the largest party on the council with 19 seats, while Labour have 18 and the Tories 13.
After Thursday’s meeting Tory leader Steve Bell revealed his party had voted against a Green administration citing their “disastrous” performance last time around.
He added: “The Conservatives had offered to provide support to a moderate Labour administration but only if they acted to remove any councillor suspended for racism from their group with immediate effect.”
Incoming Green leader Phelim Mac Cafferty spoke of the need to take the city out of the Covid-19 crisis which had left 159 people dead in Brighton.
He added:” As we have said publicly this week, it is clear neither party can claim a majority to lead our city alone. All Councillors in political parties and not need to play our part.”