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3 Labour candidates in Torbay suspended

It's thought to involve the anti-Semitism row

Although the reasons for the suspension have not been confirmed, they follow reports of the party members posting allegedly anti-Semitic material on social media.

The suspension of the Torquay branch women’s officer Virginia Keyes, the candidate for the Tormohun ward of Torbay Council, was the first to emerge earlier this week.

It is now understood two other candidates have also been suspended – Torquay branch chair Jack Critchlow at Cockington with Chelston, and Dani Passmore at Barton with Watcombe.

A Labour Party source said: “The Party does not support their campaigns and they will sit as independents if elected.”

It is understood the three were suspended after the deadline for nominations to stand in the elections on Thursday, May 2.

News of the suspension of Ms Keyes emerged after her choice as a candidate was questioned on Twitter by Rachel Riley, host of the TV show Countdown.

Ms Riley has campaigned against anti-Semitism on the left.

The presenter highlighted posts by Ms Keyes sharing links to allegedly anti-Semitic material and supporting conspiracy theories.

A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.

“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.

“We can’t comment on individual cases.

“Individuals who are suspended from the Party can’t stand as Party candidates.

“Due to electoral laws, those who are suspended after the deadline can’t be removed from the register, but they are not Party candidates.”

Some in Labour say the issue of anti-Semitism in the party under Jeremy Corbyn has been exaggerated by those on the right to undermine the leader and his supporters.

They say critics confuse legitimate political opposition to the Israeli state with anti-Semitism – defined as hostility or prejudice against Jewish people.

The party has been accused of being slow to act on allegations.

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