Preston Tabois, a Haringey Labour councillor and Unite the Union activist, has had the party’s endorsement for his London Assembly candidacy removed following the decision of a national executive committee panel, LabourList can reveal.
Tabois was selected by party members last year to be a candidate on the London-wide list. He was then administratively suspended by the Labour Party in August over a complaint relating to alleged antisemitism.
Guido Fawkes had alerted the party to social media posts appearing to show that the councillor approvingly shared an antisemitic article six years ago that claimed the Holocaust was a “masterplan” by Jewish people.
Another post sent by Guido to Labour appeared to show Tabois saying Zionist “conspiracy theories can be used as an educational tool to understand and relate to how governments are run [and] financed”.
LabourList understands that Tabois told Labour’s NEC he was mortified by the social media posts, they were made at a time when he did not know about antisemitism and he would not make such comments now.
A well-placed source told LabourList that, when the NEC panel first agreed to suspend him, the intention was not to prevent Tabois from being a candidate – and indeed his suspension from the party did recently come to an end.
One source said the London Labour regional director unilaterally decided to remove him, though other party sources have denied that this was the case and said the director played no part in the decision.
It was put to a panel of three NEC members – not including any local party or trade union representatives, according to sources – and the panel voted to remove Labour’s endorsement of Tabois, LabourList understands.
Those supportive of Momentum-backed Tabois, a London bus driver, have pointed out that he is a key worker and the only Black man on the London list. “Yet another Black candidate bumped off,” one source remarked.
It is thought that the next candidate on the list of those for whom Labour members voted for – Murad Qureshi – may replace Tabois on the London-wide list, but the party has not confirmed that this will happen.
LabourList contacted the Labour Party and Preston Tabois for comment.