The head of the party’s disputes panel Christine Shawcroft announced her resignation on Wednesday after it transpired she didn’t support the suspension of a council candidate who was accused of holocaust denial, and even called for his reinstatement.
"I am concerned that party disciplinary procedures are being used in the pursuit of partisan disputes in local parties, wasting a great deal of staff time in the process. I think we should reinstate his membership and allow him to contest the ward for which he has been selected," Ms. Shawcroft said in an email.
She was appointed head of the panel in January 2018 to tackle intraparty disputes and disciplinary matters.
Former Labour candidate Alan Bull posted an article on his Facebook profile which claimed that the holocaust is a “hoax.” Mr. Bull has now insisted that he didn’t agree with the article’s content and only shared it for the “purpose of a debate.”
Ms. Shawcroft announced her resignation via a statement in which she said she was “deeply sorry.”
"I sent this email before being aware of the full information about this case and I had not been shown the image of his abhorrent Facebook post. Had I seen this image, I would not have requested that the decision to suspend him be re-considered. I am deeply sorry for having done so,” she said in the statement.
“This week we have seen a clear expression of the pain and hurt that has been caused to Jewish members of our party and the wider Jewish community by anti-Semitic abuse and language, and by the reality of anti-Semitism being denied and downplayed by others.”
Ms. Shawcroft went on to explain that she is resigning to ensure her past actions “do not cause doubt” about the party’s processes and conduct.
"In light of this, I have decided to stand down as chair of the disputes panel to ensure my wrong and misguided questions on this case do not cause doubt or anxiety about our processes," she concluded.
Corbyn has vowed to tackle anti-Semitism within the party and said Labour MPs who attended the recent protests by Jewish groups “have the right to speak out.”
— Alexander Nekrassov (@StirringTrouble) March 27, 2018
— Darrell Kavanagh (@DarrellChaloner) March 29, 2018
With 259 seats in the House of Commons, Labour is the UK’s second largest political party and is viewed as a potential threat to the ruling Conservative Party in the next general election, which is scheduled to take place in 2022.