Labour extends suspension of activist who boasted about being readmitted after JC presents fresh evidence

Exclusive: Labour Against the Witchhunt's Ash Small shared and wrote numerous antisemitic statements on social media


Labour has extended the suspension of an activist - who had threatened on social media to “take out” pro-Israel party members - after the JC highlighted other examples of his posts about Jews and the Jewish state.

The party made the decision after Labour Against The Witchhunt's Ash Small boasted that he had been readmitted to the party.

After being presented with the evidence, the party said it would launch a new investigation into Mr Small, who told other members of the group last year that “we need to take them out one at a time… do we take Arse-Ache out first, or do we leave him until last… And make an example of him?”

Another member of the group then suggested “take them out” should mean “killed. LOL”.

Mr Small, who was already suspended from the party at the time, had been referring to Labour First Secretary Luke Akehurst, who is also director of We Believe in Israel. Mr Akehurst reported the exchange to the party last October.

Despite this, Mr Small told fellow members of LAW on Tuesday that he was “enjoying a celebratory pint” having been “let back in… not expelled” from Labour, the JC has learned.

“It was a fight right down to the line, and I’m not supposed to report on the hearing itself,” he wrote, adding he felt he had “received a fair hearing.”

“I’m not ‘officially’ back in until July 21”, he continued. “I still have to complete the remainder of a two-year suspension.”

He said the party's National Constitutional Committee (NCC), which oversees complaints against members, “did emphasise that they were bringing no ‘new’ evidence in my case.”

A Labour source initially told the JC that Mr Small “continues to be suspended", saying the NCC "heard his case and decided he would continue to be suspended for a period of time”.

However, the JC informed Labour on Wednesday of other examples of antisemitic or Holocaust revisionist statements shared or written by Mr Small on social media, all of which had been publicly available.

They include:

- Sharing an article headlined “Jewish and Zionist influence at the BBC”. As he shared it he wrote: “We all know JC [Jeremy Corbyn] is a critic of apartheid [sic] in Palestine and that the BBC has admitted fabricating ‘fake news’ about him. Is this the reason, I wonder?”

- Sharing a post about countries like the US and the UK being “slaves for Israel”, which said that “Britain gives the Zionist entity 6 billion pounds a year. All the while we face austerity, record levels of homelessness and food banks.”

- Writing in January 2018: “Can someone please explain where the figure of 6 million Holocaust victims comes from? I don’t question it, I just want it explained”. At the end of a post he said he had “been googling” and found that “in the 1930’s… 500,000 people in Germany [were Jewish]… many left Germany during the Thirties.”

The JC understands that, in response to this new material, the party is extending his suspension, pending a fresh investigation.

A Labour source said: "The party had not been made aware of some of this material. Now this has come to light, the party has opened a new investigation into him and his suspension will be further extended, pending a new investigation into this material."

Responding to Mr Small’s initial claim about being readmitted, Mr Akehurst told the JC he was “left wondering what anyone has to say to have disciplinary action taken against them in the Labour Party.

“But sadly I am no longer surprised. This is yet another case where the party has failed to take action against someone whose behaviour is completely incompatible with Labour's values and rules," he said.

Euan Philipps, spokesperson for Labour Against Antisemitism, said that Mr Small’s was “an open and shut case" and he should have been expelled.

“Instead he is now free to spread his appalling views, views seemingly condoned by the Labour Party itself," he said.

“A year on from the ‘Enough is Enough’ rally, it is clear that little has changed under Mr Corbyn’s continuing leadership. The sooner the EHRC announce their investigation into the Labour Party, the better.” 

The JC has contacted LAW for comment.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive