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Kate Osamor, a leftwing Labour MP, was suspended by her party on Sunday following a message to local members in which she listed the war in Gaza among recent examples of genocide.
Labour officials confirmed that Osamor, shadow international development secretary in the front bench team of previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, had been suspended by opposition chief whip Sir Alan Campbell “pending an investigation”.
The suspension of the MP for the north London seat of Edmonton is the latest example of the unrest on the left of the Labour party, which wants current leader Sir Keir Starmer to take a tougher line with Israel.
Osamor wrote in her message on Friday: “Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day to remember the 6mn Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and now Gaza.”
Her comments were denounced by Jewish communal leaders and she subsequently issued an apology for “any offence caused”. Osamor had been on a flight on Sunday but was suspended when she landed, Labour sources said.
In a later post on social media platform X, Osamor described the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian disaster” rather than “genocide”. She is expected to hold further discussions with Campbell in the coming days.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews dismissed her apology as “utterly hollow” and condemned “the attempts by Kate Osamor to link the Holocaust to the current situation in Gaza”.
It added in a statement: “The industrialised mass murder of 6mn Jews is in no way comparable to Israel’s efforts to uproot Hamas from Gaza.
“We believe Ms Osamor was perfectly aware of what she was saying and therefore view her apology as utterly hollow.” Ahead of news that she had been suspended by Labour, it called for her to lose the whip.
Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky News: “What is happening in Gaza is clearly a humanitarian catastrophe, that is recognised,” he said.
“But there are specific reasons why the Holocaust is considered as it is. It’s important on Holocaust Remembrance Day to remember that.
“And I understand Kate has apologised. There’s been a conversation with the chief whip. There’ll be further conversations next week, but of course we take anything in this space extremely seriously.”
Last week the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to show restraint in Gaza and to “take all measures within its power” to prevent action that fell within the scope of the genocide convention.
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