Former Labour councillor Luke Cresswell in fresh anti-Semitism investigation
- Credit: Archant
Former Babergh councillor Luke Cresswell has insisted he has done nothing wrong as he faces a fresh Labour Party investigation over social media posts he has made or repeated about people accused of anti-Semitism.
He has now been sent details of allegations made against him by the party's investigatory department - and he has been asked to respond this month.
Because of the allegations he was unable to put his name forward to stand as Labour candidate for South Suffolk in December's General Election.
The investigation includes looking at allegations that he retweeted a tweet from former Labour MP George Galloway (who later formed the Respect Party and won parliamentary seats from Labour) accusing Labour of mounting a witch-hunt of people accused of anti-Semitism.
Mr Cresswell is also accused of putting up a Facebook post saying that an investigation into claims of anti-Semitism against former MP Chris Williamson was just a device by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn to attack the party leader by getting rid of one of his most vocal supporters.
Labour wants to know why he "liked" a tweet claiming that "Momentum is little more than a Zionist Front organisation." Mr Cresswell has responded saying that he did not agree with every word in every tweet he "liked" - he said he would not have worded it in the way it was.
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And the party is also investigating a tweet in which Mr Cresswell said there was no "epidemic of anti-Semitism" in the Labour Party - it was just a plot by opponents of the leadership to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Cresswell said he saw no conflict between his own posts, or those he "liked", and the Labour Party's policy which opposes all discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, or religion.
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The party has a policy of not discussing cases while investigations are continuing but Mr Cresswell said he hoped it would be concluded soon.
It is the second time Mr Cresswell has 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 then won a seat on Babergh in a by-election, but lost it last May and stood down from Sudbury Town Council when he was first told officially about the new investigation in December.
But he hopes that he is cleared and is able to stand for election to Suffolk County Council at the election that is due in May 2021 - but that will be a decision that needs to be endorsed by Labour members from across the county.