Labour politician and former Momentum treasurer suspended from party over ‘anti-Semitic post’

Rachael Burford
·2 min read
<p>Puru Miah pictured with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn</p> (handout)

Puru Miah pictured with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

(handout)

A former national treasurer of Momentum and serving Labour councillor has been suspended by the party after a social media post in which he said there was “no factual basis whatsoever for a Jewish race”.

Labour has launched an investigation into claims of anti-Semitism over Tower Hamlets councillor Puru Miah’s Facebook comment. Mr Miah has apologised for the post, made in 2014 which was unearthed recently, and said he was “embarrassed” by its content.

In it, he linked in work by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand and wrote: “The invention of the Jewish people. This is an absolutely ‘must read’ for everyone who wants truth and justice for Palestine/Israel. The essential historical evidence will amaze you — there is no factual basis whatsoever for a Jewish race, nation or homeland, it is all recently invented propaganda called ‘Zionism’.”

Mr Miah has deleted the post. Labour sources confirmed Mr Miah had been “administratively suspended” pending an investigation.

A party spokesman added: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism seriously and they are fully investigated, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.” Mr Miah said in a statement: “I unreservedly apologise for the hurt caused. Looking back at the post, I am embarrassed, given the context of anxieties in the Jewish community and the backdrop of rising prejudices against minority communities. The situation fills me with regret and I removed the private Facebook post.

“I realise it falls far below the standards expected of a Labour councillor, representing diverse communities of all faiths and backgrounds. I look forward to this matter being investigated and resolved through an independent complaints’ procedure as recommended by the EHRC.”

Mr Miah was the national treasurer for the Momentum campaign during the 2017 general election and was responsible for the organisation’s election canvassing at the time.

Last year, the Electoral Commission fined Momentum more than £15,000 over undeclared donations. As its national treasurer, Mr Miah failed to provide all invoices and submit an accurate spending report after the election, the commission said.

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