World Europe 27 Apr 2016 British Pakistani MP ...

British Pakistani MP resigns after row over anti- Semitic Facebook post

PTI
Published Apr 27, 2016, 8:18 am IST
Updated Apr 27, 2016, 8:18 am IST
'This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.'
Pakistani-origin woman Labour MP Naz Shah (Photo: AFP)
 Pakistani-origin woman Labour MP Naz Shah (Photo: AFP)

London: A Pakistani-origin woman Labour MP on Tuesday resigned from the shadow cabinet in the UK over an anti-Jewish Facebook post that called for relocation of Israel to the US to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Naz Shah stepped down as the parliamentary private secretary to Labour's shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, over anti-semitic remarks she made two years ago.

 

Shah has since apologised, saying: "I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.
"This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused."

In a second statement, she added: "I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict.

"But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise."

Among a series of messages on social media, she had said that the "solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict - Relocate Israel into United States", with the comment "problem solved".

Alongside the post, Shah added a smiley-face emoji and suggested she would lobby the prime minister to adopt the plan.

The Labour party confirmed that she had stepped down as Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid backbench assistant.

The post was highlighted by the Guido Fawkes political website.

"I will be seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-semitism," said Shah, who is also a member of the House of Commons home affairs select committee which is conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-semitism in the UK.

The Campaign against anti-semitism has warned that it would not be able to take the committee's inquiry seriously if Shah remains part of it.

"We have offered to assist the select committee in its work investigating antisemitism. However, if Naz Shah remains on the committee it will be hard for those of us giving evidence to take the inquiry seriously," a spokesperson said.

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