In Brief

MP Naz Shah suspended calling for Israel to 'relocate' to US

Labour politician has party whip removed a day after resigning as John McDonnell's aide

Naz Shah

A Labour MP who called for Israel to "relocate" to the US was suspended from the party this afternoon, a day after she resigned from her job as aide to John McDonnell.

Naz Shah, who was elected MP for Bradford West last May, shared a post on Facebook in 2014 that argued the "transportation costs" of moving Israelis from the Middle East would be "worth it". She added that the relocation would bring peace to the region by ending "foreign interference".

"Only problem with that is Israel would need to return all the land and farms it has stolen and give the Palestinians rights, which is not possible," she wrote.

Shah has since apologised and reiterated that the comments were made before she became an MP and do not reflect her views today.

"I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise," she said.

But this afternoon, her party moved to distance itself from her.

"Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary," it said. "Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed."

Shah's messages, which were uncovered by the Guido Fawkes political blog, have raised questions about her suitability to remain on the home affairs select committee, which recently announced it would investigate rising anti-Semitism in Britain, says the Daily Telegraph.

The controversy will "reignite a bitter row" within Labour about whether leader Jeremy Corbyn has "done enough to combat anti-Semitism among some new members who have joined the party under his leadership", claims the Daily Mail.

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