Labour MP Barry Sheerman apologises for 'anti-Semitic tweet'

Labour MP Barry Sheerman apologises for ‘anti-Semitic tweet’ about ‘a run on silver shekels’ after Jewish businessmen missed out on peerages

  • Barry Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield, was accused of an ‘anti-Semitic trope’ 
  • He had tweeted: ‘Apparently there has been a bit of a run on silver shekels!’ 
  • Sir Keir Starmer is under pressure from campaigners to strip the MP of the whip  

A Labour MP has apologised for tweeting there had been a ‘run on silver shekels’ after two Jewish businessman missed out on peerages.

Barry Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield, was accused of making an ‘anti-Semitic trope’ and is facing calls to be stripped of the party whip. 

Last night he tweeted: ‘Apparently there has been a bit of a run on silver shekels!’

He followed it up half an hour later with: ‘Apparently Richard Desmond and Philip Green were on the original list for seats in the House of Lords!’ 

Anti-Semitism campaigners have urged Sir Keir Starmer to discipline his backbench MP and get serious about tackling anti-Jewish racism, which has dogged the party in recent years.  

Barry Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield, was accused of alluding to an ‘anti-Semitic trope’ and is facing calls to be stripped of the party whip

He tweeted there had been a ‘run on silver shekels’ after two Jewish businessman missed out on peerages

After sparking outcry from Britain’s Jewish community, Mr Sheerman quickly deleted the tweet and insisted it had been ‘misrepresented’ and was ‘an attempt at irony’.

He wrote: ‘My attempt at irony talking about thirty pieces of silver has been misrepresented by some comments and I am deleting it! Serves me right for rereading the entire bible in the lockdown!’ 

Within an hour of this explanation, the Labour MP offered an apology for the ‘clumsy’ tweet and stressed he had fought anti-Semitism the entirety of his career.

Mr Sheerman wrote: ‘I apologise for my earlier tweet. I did not intend the meaning which has upset many, and I am very sorry for the upset and offense I have caused.

‘I will think more carefully in future and will reflect on this.’

But campaigners demanded he lose the Labour Party whip after making the inflammatory remarks.

After sparking outcry from Britain’s Jewish community, Mr Sheerman quickly deleted the tweet and insisted it had been ‘misrepresented’ and was ‘an attempt at irony’. Within an hour of this explanation, the Labour MP offered an apology for the ‘clumsy’ tweet and stressed he had fought anti-Semitism the entirety of his career

A Campaign Against Anti-Semitism group spokesperson said: ‘Barry Sheerman’s first reaction on hearing that two prominent Jewish businessmen supposedly missed out on peerages is to think about ‘silver shekels’, alluding in one fell swoop to both classic and modern antisemitic tropes about Jews corrupting politics with money and being more loyal to Israel than their own countries.

‘Mr Sheerman must immediately face disciplinary proceedings and lose the whip of both the Labour and Co-operative Parties. 

‘Sir Keir Starmer also has a more fundamental question to answer about his parliamentary party: how long are Labour MPs capable of going without making brazenly anti-Semitic statements? 

‘Labour’s anti-Semitism problem apparently goes well beyond the Party’s far-left contingent.’

Sir Keir has vowed a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the Labour ranks, and in June swiftly sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey from his shadow cabinet after she retweeted an article containing an antisemitic conspiracy theory. 

A Labour Party spokesperson tonight said: ‘Barry has deleted the tweets and apologised. He deeply regrets the offence caused.’ 

Source: Read Full Article