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Labour's Keir Starmer sacks Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory'

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By Pascale Davies
Long-Bailey was an ally of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Long-Bailey was an ally of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.   -   Copyright  Jane Barlow/PA Wire   -  

The UK's Shadow Education Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked after she shared an article on Twitter that contained "an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory."

The one-time leadership contender retweeted an interview by British newspaper, The Independent with British actress Maxine Peake in which she claimed the US police tactic of kneeling on someone’s neck was taught by the Israeli secret service.

The reference in the reposted article has been described by the new Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”

“This afternoon, Keir Starmer asked Rebecca Long-Bailey to step down from the Shadow Cabinet,” said a spokesman for the Labour leader.

During its time in opposition, Labour has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism within the party during the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, Starmer's predecessor.

“As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority,” the statement added.

Long-Bailey, who was a Corbyn ally, said on Twitter: "In no way was my retweet an intention to endorse every part of the article."

“I had asked to discuss these matters with Keir before agreeing what further action to take, but sadly he had already made his decision.”

She added she would continue to support the party in parliament under Starmer’s leadership.