Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s national executive committee, has been suspended from the Labour Party over alleged comments on antisemitism.
A Labour Party spokesperson confirmed today: “Peter Willsman has been suspended from the Labour Party, pending investigation.”
While suspended, he will not be able to attend NEC meetings nor perform any other functions as a member of the ruling body.
It is understood that multiple complaints, including from NEC members, were submitted to the party about Willsman after fresh comments of his were exclusively revealed by LBC.
According to LBC, Willsman claimed earlier this year that the Israeli embassy was “behind” claims about Labour antisemitism and that Labour members “whipping it up” were working indirectly for the embassy.
In the recording obtained by LBC, Willsman can apparently be heard saying: “It’s almost certain who is behind all this anti-Semitism against Jeremy. Almost certainly, it was the Israeli embassy.”
The comments were made in January to American-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom.
Prior to the confirmation of Willsman’s suspension, Jewish Labour Movement chair Mike Katz told LBC: “Willsman is on the NEC, the party’s main governing body. He rules on cases of antisemitism.
“This is what we mean when we say that the party has a deep seated institutional racism against Jews.”
A number of Labour MPs including deputy leader Tom Watson swiftly called for disciplinary action to be taken against the NEC member.
If Willsman is expelled from the party following investigation, a by-election will be held to allow party members to choose a new NEC representative. Until the suspension ends, his seat will be vacant.