Edmonton MP Kate Osamor has been suspended by Labour following comments made about Gaza in relation to Holocaust Memorial Day.
Osamor, who has represented the constituency since 2015, sent out a newsletter to constituents last week in which she listed the ongoing war in Gaza among genocides that should be remembered alongside the Holocaust.
After receiving criticism for the remarks, on Friday night (26th) Osamor apologised and said: “Holocaust Memorial Day is a day to remember the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust and the genocides that have occurred since. I apologise for any offence caused by my reference to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza as part of that period of remembrance.”
However, the row escalated over the weekend, and last night (Sunday 28th) it was confirmed the Labour whip had been removed from Osamor in parliament.
It means that she is now effectively an independent MP, although she remains a Labour Party member. An investigation will now take place to decide if Osamor should be reinstated or permanently expelled.
In her newsletter sent on Friday Osamor had originally written: “Tomorrow is Holocaust Memorial Day, an international day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of other people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and now Gaza.”
The comments were criticised by Jewish groups and others. Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “This disgusting post is a malicious distortion of the truth, a painful insult to survivors of the Holocaust and particularly distressing to see on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.”
But left-wing group Momentum defended Osamor and said in a statement: “Just two days ago, the International Court of Justice found that Israel had a plausible case to answer on genocide in regards to its brutal and inhumane war on Gaza. But instead of echoing this call to stop a potential genocide, [Labour leader] Keir Starmer is attacking those calling it out.”
Osamor now becomes the second of Enfield borough’s three MPs to be suspended by Labour. Enfield Southgate MP Bambos Charalambous, who was a shadow minister at the time, also had the whip removed last June . There has been no update on his suspension issued since.