A LABOUR councillor in Scotland has been suspended by the party while claims that he made anti-Semitic comments are investigated.
The action has been taken against Terry Kelly, who represents the Paisley North council ward, after Labour’s attention was drawn to a series of posts he made on his blog.
Cllr Kelly was suspended as Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale admitted questions about links to anti-Semitism has “unquestionably had an affect” on campaigning for the Scottish election.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has set up an independent investigation into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism within the party as the row over the handling of controversial comments by prominent figures, including the former London mayor Ken Livingstone, continues.
On the eve of today’s Scottish election Ms Dugdale said: “It has unquestionably had an effect. I am not going to go into the business of analysing what has happened over the past few days, but it is coming up on the doorsteps.
“I haven’t directly spoken to Jeremy about it. I did speak to him yesterday about the final hours of the campaign, I am in regular touch with him.
“I am going to do what I always said I would do, which is focus on the positive reasons for voting Labour.”
Among the claims made by Cllr Kelly were an allegation that the Oscars are rigged by the “powerful Jewish lobby”.
He also alleged that President Obama’s foreign policy is influenced by Jewish Americans. His blog claimed that “the American Jewish Lobby is extremely powerful and it has its boot on Obama’s neck”.
Following the allegations coming to light on the Guido Fawkes website Labour suspended Cllr Kelly and Newport councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi.
Cllr Al-Nuaimi used tweets to compare Israel to the Nazis and to make connections between Israel and so-called IS.
A spokesperson for Scottish Labour said: “Terry Kelly has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.”