Redbridge Labour party investigating rogue ‘Islamophobic’ comment from official Twitter account

Redbridge Labour is investigating a rogue tweet someone sent from its official account in response to something posted by...

Redbridge Labour is investigating a rogue tweet someone sent from its official account in response to something posted by Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA/Aaron Chown/Jonathan Brady - Credit: Archant

The Redbridge Labour party is investigating a rogue “offensive” and “Islamophobic” tweet that was sent out from its official account criticising Jeremy Corbyn’s support for Palestine.

On Sunday, November 29 the former Labour leader and MP for Islington North tweeted out the message “Solidarity with the Palestinian People #PalestineDay”.

Soon after the Redbridge Labour account replied to the tweet: “Your solidarity is not for them, it’s simply anti Jewish. Of all the conflicts in the world the one that is the least harmful and where one side, Israel, has never instigated war or attacks. Antisemitism is rife thanks to you.”

Council leader Jas Athwal said as soon as he was made aware of the tweet he had it deleted, with a full retraction published and issued a public apology himself.

He said: “The statement does not reflect my views or the views of Redbridge Labour and I strongly condemn the sentiments of the tweet, which were both appallingly offensive and inaccurate.

“A full and thorough investigation is ongoing and I will be referring the matter to the police. In the meantime, all access to the Redbridge Labour Twitter account has been restricted.”

The Federation for Redbridge Muslim Organisations (Formo), which represents 18 Muslim organisations across Redbridge, said it had received a number of complaints about the tweet and called on swift and decisive action to be taken to hold the responsible person accountable and restore confidence in the Muslim community.

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In a letter sent to Cllr Athwal and Ilford MPs Wes Streeting and Sam Tarry the Formo panel said: “We find the tweet abhorrent and very troubling coming from the official Redbridge Labour account.

“The tweet is extremely divisive, offensive and paints the Palestinian struggle for self-determination as antisemitic.

“You will be aware that the PPG definition of Islamophobia states attacking Palestinians self-determination is Islamophobic.”

Mr Streeting said he found the tweet “appalling, offensive and inaccurate” and had been in touch with Cllr Athwal who assured him it was being taken seriously.

The Formo panel went on to say: “Our community feels that this incident alongside the recently published report on Islamophobia released by the Labour Muslim Network paints a worrying picture about the value of the Muslim community within Labour.”