Labour have suspended the chair of North Norfolk Labour Party (NNLP) over allegations of antisemitism after he shared online posts from a conspiracy theorist about the Rothschilds and Zionism and openly defended a council candidate who compared Israel to the Nazis.
Ray Mooney was informed in a letter on Tuesday of a pending investigation into his conduct over draft charges of “prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental conduct”.
He was informed he had engaged in behaviour which “may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion or belief; may reasonably be seen to involve antisemitic actions, stereotypes and sentiments; [and] undermine the Party’s ability to campaign against racism”.
Mr Mooney has been the subject of complaints from Jewish groups after repeatedly using his Facebook account to circulate inflammatory comments including claims former Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth was ‘’funded by the Israel lobby’’ and that Israel was behind the antisemitism claims against Jeremy Corbyn.
He also said he stood by comments from a council candidate accused in a newspaper report of antisemitism saying: “These are her views and she is entitled to them.”
Mr Mooney’s suspension is the latest sign Sir Keir Starmer is cracking down on members whose conduct had been overlooked under Labour’s previous leader.
The party chair also allegedly shared a news article about hospitals in Gaza by Al Jazeera with the claim: “Israel is trying to silence Corbyn.”
Mr Mooney told his local North Norfolk News newspaper he had not resigned as NNLP chairman and added: “I’ve been made aware of the letter and I’m responding to the party in writing.”
An emergency meeting took place on Thursday for the NNLP to discuss interim leadership.