West Midlands Labour council leader under investigation for alleged 'antisemitic' social media posts

Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies shared petition calling for parliamentary debate on Israel's 'improper influence' over British politics


A Labour council leader in the West Midlands is under investigation by the party for alleged antisemtism after she backed claims on social media that "Israel's hand" and the “Jewish establishment” were responsible for undermining Jeremy Corbyn.

Yvonne Davies, leader of Sandwell Council,  is now the subject of a probe by the party over the posts which also include a link to a petition calling for a parliamentary debate over whether Israel has "improper influence" over British politics.

In another August 2018 tweet she shared an article by the ‘’non-Zionist” writer Robert Cohen headlined ‘The Jewish establishment’s ‘War on Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain.’

A further post by Ms Davies stated:’’I might be wrong?? But isn’t soros (sic) Jewish? Who remembers the atrocity of the Nazis and is frightened by what he sees as the re-rise of extremism across Europe?...’’

John Spellar, the Labour MP for Warley, was amongst those to condemn Ms Davies conduct and he suggested that as well as investigating the posts the party should also  look ”at how the Labour group in Sandwell is being run at the moment."

He said: "It is not for me to prejudge the investigation, but the tweets are clearly cause for concern.

"I would have thought that at the very least she would want to withdraw them and apologise for posting them.

"The Labour Party really needs to look into this – and indeed at how the Labour group in Sandwell is being run at the moment."

The probe into Ms Davies was launched after  another Sandwell Labour councillor, Paul Moore,  lodged a  complaint three months ago.

Mr Moore  said: "The right thing to do would be for Councillor Davies to step aside while these serious allegations are being investigated by the Labour Party."

It is understood that Labour has received a further complaint about tweets posted by Councillor Davies  - including a link to an article defending former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who at the time was suspended by Labour for alleged antisemitism.

In another post  Ms Davies claimed the media were ignoring anti-Muslim issues because they were ‘’Too busy chasing Corbyn around over his ‘wrong’ choice of Jewish friends, presumably.’’

Birmingham Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne, Labour's candidate for West Midlands Mayor, has urged his party to urgently deal with the matter.

He said: "As a complaint has been made to the Labour Party, it is right that it is investigated and dealt with quickly and swiftly.

"There is absolutely no place for racism or antisemitism in the Labour Party."

Councillor Davies is  Sandwell Council's third leader in four months after she was elected last May.

She has insisted she is not antisemitic and said she would be careful about what she retweeted in future due to there being "a lot of sensitivity" around the issue.

Cllr Davies told her local Express and Star newspaper she has been told by the Labour Party not to comment until the investigation has been completed.

On Wedesday it emerged that Labour had suspended Ms Davies while the investigation into her posts was carried out.


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