Wiltshire

Swindon Labour candidate sorry for 'anti-Semitism' posts

Kate Linnegar Image copyright South Swindon Labour
Image caption Kate Linnegar apologised for "the offence caused" by her actions in 2016

A Labour local election candidate has apologised for sharing Facebook posts describing links with her party to anti-Semitism as a "smear campaign".

Kate Linnegar, who is standing in Swindon, said she "wouldn't share those posts today".

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) wants Labour to take action against her for the links, posted in 2016.

Joe Glasman, CAA's head of political investigations, said one post "compares the actions of Israel to Nazi Germany".

The CAA is a charity which aims to expose and tackle anti-Semitism through education and the enforcement of the law.

Mr Glasman said the posts have "an unmistakable and repeated theme" and "For someone in such a responsible position, maybe one could look unfortunate, but more than that looks like more than bad luck".

'Deeper understanding'

One post linked to an article arguing false allegations of anti-Semitism were being manufactured to discredit Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Another article claimed accusations of anti-Semitism were "being weaponised" to attack Mr Corbyn.

Ms Linnegar is standing in the Swindon Borough Council election on 2 May and has already been selected as Labour's candidate for the North Swindon seat at the next general election, currently scheduled for 2022.

She was also previously the public face of the anti-austerity campaign group Swindon People's Assembly.

In a statement, she said: "I sincerely apologise for having liked or shared these posts in the past and for the offence this has caused."

She added that she has since "developed a deeper understanding about the issue".

Image copyright Facebook

Labour said the posts were published in 2016, before the UK government and the party adopted an international definition of anti-Semitism.

It said Ms Linnegar was "committed to tackling anti-Semitism within her own party and society".

Other candidates standing in the Penhill and Upper Stratton ward include:

  • Katharine Henery (Green)
  • Michelle Horrobin (Liberal Democrats)
  • David Ibitoye (Conservatives)
  • Teresa Page (Independent)

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