A Dunstable councillor who was suspended from the Labour party while claims of anti-semitism were investigated, has quit the town council.
Anne Kennedy, elected last year to the Northfields Ward, was suspended two weeks ago after a story broke on the Buzzfeed website which claimed she had made anti semitic comments on Facebook.
She has also resigned from the Parlimentary Labour Party.
Announcing her decision, Mrs Kennedy said: “Following a Buzzfeed article accusing me of anti semitism I have decided to resign from the Labour Party and from the council. I have justified all of the posts from my fb account by putting them back into the context from which they were removed by a journalist who knew of my suspension 2 full days before I did.
“I believe the accusations to be part of a wider smear campaign against Pro Palestinian supporters in the Labour party.
“If the posts in question were indeed anti-semitic it would have been clear enough for the ‘journalist’ to post them in context and without desperately and ludicrously trying to link me and my husband to Hamas.
“I have never mocked Jews, posted comments blaming Jews for Israel’s war crimes or made any reference to a ‘New World Order’ conspiracy theory. In fact I have called people out on their conflation of Judaism with Zionism and stereotypical characterisations of Jews.
“I am also calling out the IHRA definition of anti-semitism that conflates criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews as a group.
“I am criticising the illegal expansion policies of a State that claims the right to defend its borders yet won’t define those borders. I am not criticising Israel because it is a Jewish State. I am criticising Israel for its illegal siege of 2 million people. I am criticising Israel for its war crimes (eg use of white phosphorous on a civilian population), for shooting Journalists and Medics, for blowing up children playing on a beach, for demolishing Palestinian homes, for collective, cruel and unusual punishment and for its perpetual occupation of Palestinian land.
“I will not pretend I ‘didn’t know’.”
>A by election will now be held in the ward.Interested parties have until June 22 to apply.