Labour constituency chairman accused of anti-Semitism resigns from party
PUBLISHED: 08:21 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:31 27 August 2020
A constituency Labour Party chairman who was suspended over allegations of anti-Semitism says he has resigned from the party due to “double standards”.
Ray Mooney, former chairman of the North Norfolk Labour Party (NNLP), had his membership suspended in June after an investigation was launched into his conduct on social media.
He faced draft charges of online behaviour that “may be seen to involve anti-Semitic actions, stereotypes and sentiments”.
Screenshots of Mr Mooney’s Facebook page, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) showed his account appear to post articles referring to anti-Semitic tropes, including the Rothschilds family and Zionism.
He also allegedly shared a post comparing the Jewish Voice for Peace organisation to the Nazis.
It has now emerged he has resigned from the party but said he stood by his comments and the decision was “nothing to do with the accusations”.
He said: “I made a robust defence. What I’ve resigned about was quite simply the double standards, the fact I’ve got allegations when you’ve got Barry Sheerman putting out appalling anti-Semitic tweets. I couldn’t continue paying into an organisation that acts like that.”
Mr Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield apologised earlier this month for a tweet which included an anti-Semitic trope.
Mr Mooney added: “I’ve been an anti-racist all my life. To be accused of that was quite shocking.
“There was a tweet that could have been construed as anti-Semitic - about the Rothschilds - but that wasn’t how it was meant.
“The rest I stand by because it wasn’t anti the Israeli people, it was anti the Israeli government.
“People can find offence in anything. It was never my intention to offend anyone, apart from people who support the oppression of Palestinian people.
“I know people are going to say I left the party before they threw me out. I’ve spent my life fighting racism. I stand by what I’ve said.”
The Labour Party in the East of England said they would not comment on individual cases but Mr Mooney is understood to have resigned from the national party.
Sue Brisbane, North Norfolk Labour secretary, said Mr Mooney had stepped down as chairman several months ago, and Martin Langsdon had taken over as acting chairman since June.