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Labour activist's 'nightmare' over as she is cleared in anti-Semitism probe

Published 28/05/2016

A Labour Party activist investigated in relation to allegations of anti-Semitism has had her suspension lifted
A Labour Party activist investigated in relation to allegations of anti-Semitism has had her suspension lifted

A Labour Party activist investigated in relation to allegations of anti-Semitism has had her suspension lifted.

Jackie Walker was suspended earlier this month after making comments on social media which the Jewish Chronicle said it had highlighted to the party.

The Kent activist and South Thanet vice-chair, who is also a member of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum movement, described the past few weeks as "a living nightmare".

She accused members of the "right-wing press" and people opposed to Mr Corbyn's leadership of having "provoked" her suspension.

She said she been approached in the street and called a racist while the investigation was taking place.

Ms Walker said: "I am glad this investigation has fully cleared me of any wrongdoing. I am not a racist, but I robustly defend my right and the right of others to speak openly and frankly about matters of grave political and historical importance.

"That is the cornerstone of the right of free speech in our democracy."

She added: " What I have suffered and the effect this episode has had on my health and, also, on my family can only be described as the lowest form of 'attack politics'."

Ms Walker's solicitor, Martin Howe, said: " She is not a racist, and having strongly held views on the conflict in the Middle East and historical matters of a factual nature is not anti-Semitism.

"The danger with cases like this is that genuine debate and free speech has been silenced by the chilling effect of unfair and inaccurate allegations of anti-Semitism against a person who has fought against racism, in all forms, all her life."

A spokeswoman for Labour said: "Following the outcome of an investigation, Jacqueline Walker is no longer suspended and remains a member of the Labour Party."

Two other members, Newport councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi and Terry Kelly, who sits on Renfrewshire Council, remain suspended pending investigations, a Labour Party spokeswoman said.

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