Labour restore whip to MP who said Israel was committing genocide in Gaza

Kate Osamor apologised for her ‘insensitive’ and ‘inappropriate’ remarks


Edmonton MP Kate Osamor apologised in January for saying Gaza should be remembered as a genocide (Photo: Paul Ellis)

The Labour party have restored the whip to an MP who said Israel was committing genocide in Gaza on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Board of Deputies said Kate Osamor, who sent a message earlier this year to party members in which she said there was an “international duty” to remember the victims of the Holocaust and “more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and now Gaza”, should now work with Shoah charities to demonstrate her contrition. 

The Edmonton representative apologised for her comments shortly after making them, writing on X/Twitter: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a day to remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and the genocides that have occurred since.

"I apologise for any offence caused by my reference to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza as part of that period of remembrance.”

On Wednesday, a Labour party spokesperson said: “The chief whip has today restored the Labour whip to Kate Osamor MP. This follows a full investigation by the Labour party into complaints received about a social media post she made in January.”

Osamor said: “I am grateful to the Labour party for their investigation into my conduct and I accept the outcome in full. I want to unreservedly apologise again for my comments. I made remarks which were insensitive, inappropriate, and which I apologise for and regret.

“I will continue to reach out to Jewish stakeholders and the community. I am committed to ensuring that I don’t fall short of the highest standards. I look forward to continuing to represent my constituents of Edmonton in Westminster as a Labour MP.”

The Board of Deputies said Osamor ought to work with “mainstream Jewish groups, as well as key Holocaust charities, to understand why what she said was profoundly offensive to so many of us,” and prove that her remorse is genuine. 

"Many in the Jewish community will be understandably reluctant to welcome the news of Labour's readmission of Kate Osamor, unless they see evidence to show that her apology is a sincere one,” they added.

Following Osamor’s initial comment, the Board condemned, “the attempts by Kate Osamor to link the Holocaust to the current situation in Gaza.”

They said: “The industrialised mass murder of six million Jews is in no way comparable to Israel’s efforts to uproot Hamas from Gaza.”

The MP’s apology was “completely hollow”, the Board added.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, described Osamor’s statement as a “disgusting malicious distortion of the truth.”

She said it was, “a painful insult to survivors of the Holocaust and particularly distressing to see on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.”

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