UPDATE: Following yesterday’s comprehensive coverage of the fallout over Labour’s Naz Shah and her Facebook posts, the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn has finally bowed to pressure and suspended her from the party.
Yet the decision came just hours after he appeared to have accepted an apology without imposing a punishment.
Ms Shah had a second meeting with Mr Corbyn this afternoon after which Labour said she would be suspended with ‘mutual agreement’.
A Labour spokesman said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the General Secretary.
‘Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed.’
Speaking in the Commons, Ms Shah today made her fourth apology saying: ‘I fully acknowledge I have made mistakes and I wholeheartedly apologise to this House for the words I used before I became a member.
‘I accept and understand the words I used caused upset and hurt to the Jewish community and I deeply regret that.
‘Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop.’
ORIGINAL POST: Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, today resigned from the shadow cabinet over her now well publicised Facebook post that called for relocation of Israel to the US to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Shah stepped down as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, over the remarks she made two years ago.
Shah has since apologised, saying: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.
“This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”
In a second statement, she added: “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.”
Shah won her parliamentary seat in 2015 from George Galloway following an acrimonious election campaign that at times became very personal. Indeed, Shah referred to it as, “One of the most vile and personalised election campaigns ever seen in Great Britain”.
One particular spat centred on Shah’s claims about being forced into a violent and sexually abusive marriage aged 15.
This was disputed by Galloway telling her she had “only a passing acquaintance with the truth”. Galloway said: “You claimed – and gullible journalists believed you – that you were subject to a forced marriage at the age of 15. But you were not 15, you were 16 and a half. I have your nikah [marriage certificate] in my pocket.”
Shah at one point suggested she would sue Galloway over the issue.
However, it has been the series of messages on social media for which she has paid today’s price. She had said that the “solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, with the additional comment “problem solved”.
Alongside the post, Shah added a smiley-face emoji and suggested she would lobby the prime minister to adopt the plan.
More recently Shah threw her opinion into the ring over the controversial election of Malia Bouattia as the new president of the National Union of Students. Shah shared a tweet warmly congratulating Bouattia on her victory.
Bouattia’s election, amid allegations by some of anti-Semitism, has taken some university student unions to the brink of disafilliation.
The Labour party confirmed that Shah had stepped down as Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid backbench assistant.
The original post was publicised by the Guido Fawkes political website.
Naz Shah conclude her apology with a suggestion she would be,”Seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”
However, her troubles are almost certain to continue with other MPs questioning whether Shah should continue as a parliamentarian.
Her Labour colleague John Mann told Guido Fawkes that, “The last person to propose a forced repatriation of this kind was Adolf Eichmann on August 15 in 1940 (the Madagascar plan).”
Shah, is also a member of the House of Commons home affairs select committee which is conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK. In the circumstances it is inconceivable that she will be able to continue in that role.