Former councillor Luke Cresswell cleared by Labour after Anti-Semitism probe

Luke Cresswell was removed from the shortlist for the South Suffolk Labour nomination. Picture; BABE

Luke Cresswell was removed from the shortlist for the South Suffolk Labour nomination. Picture; BABERGH/MID SUFFOLK COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Former Babergh councillor Luke Cresswell is hoping to put his name forward to contest a county council seat for Labour next year after being cleared of supporting anti-semitic statements after an internal investigation.

Mr Cresswell, who lost his Babergh seat in May last year, was reported to the party after retweeting a comment by former Labour MP George Galloway who had accused the party of carrying out a witchhunt over anti-semitism allegations.

The investigation prevented Mr Cresswell, who lives in Sudbury, from putting his name forward to stand in last year's General Election - and he remains suspicious about the timing of the referral to the party.

He said: "I did want to put myself forward and it is disappointing that this came up at that time."

The letter from the party said: " The Panel found that your behaviour on this occasion did not amount to a breach of the Party's Rules. However, they considered it appropriate to remind you of the high standards of conduct the Party expects of its members."

It was the second time Mr Cresswell had been suspended by Labour over concerns about anti-Semitic social media posts. In 2016 he was investigated after retweeting allegedly anti-Semitic material but was reinstated after telling the party he was not aware of the nature of some of the material he had posted links to.

He said he hoped this investigation would now show that he had done nothing wrong - and he was hoping to resume his political career. He had stood down from Sudbury Town Council during the investigation.

"I am hoping to put my name forward to contest next year's county council elections. To do that I would need the support of the local party and the Suffolk Labour Party. I shall put my name in the hat and see what happens.

"Hopefully there will not be anything like this again to stop me from standing."

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A spokesman for Labour in Suffolk said that before anyone could contest a seat for the party they had to go before a panel and show that they knew what the role involved and could show they could work as part of a group - they then needed to be nominated by their local party before they could go on to the ballot paper as a Labour candidate in the election in May 2021. That process would not start until later this year.

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