16:59 GMT29 September 2020
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    Lloyd Russell-Moyle has come under fire in recent months for his comments accusing author JK Rowling of using her past as a victim of sexual assault as well as comments regarding Israel amid a campaign within Labour to root out antisemitism.

    Labour's Shadow Minister for Air Quality and the Natural Environment resigned from his position on Thursday.

    Lloyd Russell-Moyle said that he spoke to Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and "with regret" asked to stand down from the shadow cabinet.

    He said that "owing to a campaign by the right-wing media my position has become untenable" due to a "torrent of online hate and daily calls of harassment to my office".

    "It is my job to get political flack, but it is not the job of caseworkers, researchers and assistants to be attacked", he said.

    The Brighton Kemptown MP thanked his constituents and said he will continue to fight for the manifesto he was elected on and for a Labour government.

    ​This follows a series of controversies involving Russell-Moyle. Earlier this month the 33-year old MP apologised for comments on social media in which he described Zionism as a "dangerous nationalist idea" and accused Israel of committing terrorism.

    “The point is people who are from Jewish decent/Jewish but are not Zionist is that the two are not automatic that you can be proud of being Jewish but realize that idea of inheriting/claim a land that you may have never visited or seen but have a ‘heritage’ claim for is not progressive in its very nature", he said.

    He also compared the current government in Israel to apartheid South Africa's ruling National Party - an explicitly ethnonationalist organisation.

    He later deleted the comments and said he was committed to Labour leader Keir Starmer's goal in rooting out antisemitism in the party.

    In June, he apologised after accusing author JK Rowling, in an article for the Tribune, of using her history as a victim of domestic violence as “justification” for discrimination against transgender people.

    Russell-Moyle was a strong supporter of former leader Jeremy Corbyn and has dedicated much of his political life to anti-war causes, including opposition to the UK's arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

    His departure from Starmer's team follows that of left-winger Rebecca Long-Bailey from the position as shadow education secretary.

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    Tags:
    JK Rowling, resign, media, UK Shadow Cabinet, Labour Party
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