British MP suspended for anti-Semitism is elected to party disciplinary board

December 4, 2020 by JNS
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A member of the British Parliament who served a suspension for anti-Semitism and was reinstated by his party has been elected to serve on his party’s disciplinary board.

Scottish National Party MP Neale Hanvey. Credit: David Woolfall via Wikimedia Commons

Neale Hanvey of the Scottish National Party was just elected to his party’s disciplinary board one year after serving a suspension over anti-Semitic social-media posts that resurfaced ahead of the 2019 election. In them, he shared an article featuring a caricature of Jewish billionaire George Soros as a puppet master and another comparing the treatment of the Palestinians to that of the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

He was readmitted to his party six months ago after completing a course at a Holocaust centre and meeting with Scottish Jewish community leaders to apologize for the posts.

The U.K.-based Campaign Against Antisemitism criticized SNP for electing Hanvey to the disciplinary board at its party conference, calling it “a wrong move.”

Hanvey, however, defended his election to the board.

“I have always accepted full responsibility for my error in judgment in 2016, for which I have sincerely, and unreservedly, apologized,” he told The National. “I was duly sanctioned for this by my party and complied with those terms without complaint.”

He continued: “I have earnestly sought to atone for my error and have subsequently been commended by the Jewish community for the positive way in which I have dealt with the matter. The support and subsequent recognition I received from Danny Stone, CEO of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, and Andrew Percy MP, co-chair of the APPG [all-party parliamentary group] on anti-Semitism, has been warm, generous and humbling.

“I am currently engaging with the Jewish Leadership Council to support their work in better informing political discourse, and it is my hope that by drawing on my professional experience and the learning from my recent challenges, I can support members with dealing sensitively with such issues. I would suggest the conduct committee can provide more than just a reactive service, and there is scope for their work to take a lead for member development in this area.”

JNS

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