Borough Labour party official quits role in row over online anti-Semitic post

A message confirming Mick Shaws appointment in a role with Leigh CLP, from which he has now stepped down
A message confirming Mick Shaws appointment in a role with Leigh CLP, from which he has now stepped down

A borough Labour Party official has stepped down from a voluntary post after being highlighted in an online probe into anti-Semitism.

A message posted by Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield Momentum chairman Mick Shaw was included in an investigation into anti-Jewish sentiment published online by researcher David Collier, sparking alarm among opposition activists in the borough.

The offending post

The offending post

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Leigh Constituency Labour Party (CLP) said Mr Shaw has now quit his unpaid role as social media officer, an appointment which had been questioned in the wake of the post by Wigan, Leigh and Makerfield Liberal Democrats.

The CLP said Mr Shaw had also said he was sorry for the post, which was placed online in 2015, and has referred himself to regional party structures for investigation.

The message appeared to endorse the contents of an article on a extreme political website about events in Hungary involving banking containing anti-Semitic references.

The post was made before Mr Shaw joined the Labour Party.

A Leigh CLP spokesperson said: “In response to comments made by an opposition party, the member in question is no longer social media officer for Leigh CLP) which is an unpaid, voluntary role.

“A full apology has been submitted by the member to Leigh CLP and North West Regional Labour Party expressing the deepest regret.

“Furthermore, the member has self-referred to Northwest Regional Labour Party for investigation into the accusations concerning posts on the members’ personal Facebook page back in 2015, when they were not a member of the Labour Party.

“Leigh CLP was not aware of these posts previously and we take issues of discrimination seriously and act in accordance with Labour Party’s rules and we uphold Labour’s values of social justice and equality for all.”

Mr Collier last week included Mr Shaw in a long online post of 56 messages containing anti-Semitic content put online over a period of several years by Labour Party members.

WLM Liberal Democrats said the strong response from Leigh CLP was correct.

A spokesperson said: “It is reassuring to know Mr Shaw has taken the right steps and not shied away from his responsibility with this post.

“We hope that this issue can be dealt with effectively and swiftly within the Labour Party to ensure that nothing like this can rear its head again in our borough.

“The post was a display of profound ignorance.”