Labour suspends North Tyneside Council candidate over Israel Facebook posts

North Tyneside Council Headquarters at Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside Council Headquarters at Cobalt Business Park -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

The Labour Party has suspended a North Tyneside Council candidate after it came to light that he shared anti-Israel posts on Facebook, it is understood.

With little over a week to go before voters head to the polls for the local elections on May 2, Labour has revoked its support of a candidate in Preston and Preston Grange ward. The prospective candidate, Abdur Razaq, has had all Party support removed from his campaign, the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands.

The suspension comes after several Facebook posts of Mr Razaq’s came to light following the October 7 attacks in Israel last year. One post shared by Mr Razaq, on October 20 last year, dubs Israel a “terrorist nation”, followed by the tagline “share if you believe let the whole world know”.

Another post shared on the account on December 9, 2023, depicts images comparing Gaza in 2023 to Nazi Germany in 1943.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Thanks to Kier Starmer’s leadership, the party has ripped out antisemitism at its roots. We will continue to fight antisemitism and all forms of hate speech every day of the week, it has no place in the Labour Party.”

The Party also said it cannot comment on individual cases as disciplinary proceedings are independent and confidential.

A North Tyneside Conservative spokesperson said: “Local Labour must now explain why candidates were not vetted properly before being put to voters. There should be a full review into how they can root out discrimination and antisemitism in all of its forms.

“Residents in Preston with Preston Grange have a choice - three hard-working local Conservatives or a divided Labour Party who don’t like in the ward and care more about the Middle East than the North East.”

In February this year, The Labour Party withdrew support from its candidate, Azhar Ali, in a parliamentary by-election in Rochdale following controversial comments he made about the October 7 attacks. He continued to stand a Labour candidate on the ballot paper but ultimately lost to George Galloway and his Workers Party.