Labour politician was readmitted, despite still being investigated, because she was 'very distressed'

Jenny Rathbone was suspended for questioning a local synagogue's security fears and remains subject to a party probe


The leader of Labour in Wales Mark Drakeford led calls for his political ally to be allowed to rejoin her Welsh Assembly colleagues because she was “very distressed” by her suspension for questioning security fears among Cardiff’s Jewish community.

The JC has learned that the Welsh Labour Group held a meeting before Christmas where they decided to readmit Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone to the group – even though the UK Labour Party had not concluded its investigation into her.

During the meeting, just three Labour Welsh Assembly members spoke against allowing Ms Rathbone back into the Group – Alun Davies, Lynne Neagle and Vaughan Gething.

It is unclear how many of the group's 29 members attended the meeting.

A source told the JC: "Most people at the meeting seemed more concerned about Jenny’s well-being, than they did about the offensive comments she had made against the Jewish community.

“Mark (Drakeford) and almost the entire group, barring Alun, Lynne and Vaughan seemed determined to get her back as quickly as they could.

“No consideration was given to the fact that UK Labour had yet to conclude their investigation into her remarks.

“This was ‘our Jenny’ and she might have been a bit stupid to say what she did – but it was more important to get her back to work.”

Welsh Labour confirmed to the JC on Tuesday that Ms Rathbone was "readmitted to the group at the start of the spring term" after being suspended on November 20, seven days after the JC published the recording in which she said security at a Cardiff synagogue was the result of "siege mentalities" and their fears might be "in their heads".

She was a key supporter of Mr Drakeford, the pro-Jeremy Corbyn First Minister of Wales who was elected Welsh Labour leader on December 13.

She tweeted celebrating his victory, even though she was suspended at the time.

Welsh Labour declined to comment on her readmission.

After the JC published Ms Rathbone’s comments in November, Mr Drakeford issued a statement saying: "Antisemitism in completely unacceptable and has no place at all in the Labour Party. Jenny Rathbone's comments were unacceptable.

"It's right that she has been referred to the Labour Party for investigation."

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