The Labour MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, has resigned as the parliamentary private secretary to the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, over alleged “anti-Semitic” Facebook posts.
In a series of Facebook posts, Shah said Israel should be “relocated” to the US and posted an article that compared Zionism to Al Qaeda.
Shah has since apologised, saying: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused.”
It emerged later that she had stepped down as PPS to McDonnell.
Shah, who was elected MP for Bradford West last May, shared a picture of Israel’s borders superimposed on to a map of the US under the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine Conflict – Relocate Israel into United States”, with the comment “problem solved”.
In the post shared in 2014 – nine months before Shah became an MP – it went on to say that Americans would “welcome Israelis with open arms” and that the relocation would bring peace to the Middle East by ending “foreign interference”.
The post suggested the US had “plenty of land” to accommodate Israel as a 51st state, allowing Palestinians to “get their life and their land back”.
It added that Israelis would be welcome and safe in the US, while the “transportation cost” would be less than three years’ worth of Washington’s support for Israeli defence spending.
After the posting was highlighted by the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog site, Shah released a statement in which she said: “This post from two years ago was made before I was an MP, does not reflect my views and I apologise for any offence it has caused.”
Shah is a member of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the rise of anti-Semitism.
In a statement released by the Labour party earlier today, she confirmed her resignation as McDonnell’s PPS.
She said: “I deeply regret the hurt I have caused by comments made on social media before I was elected as an MP.
“I made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is no excuse for the offence I have given, for which I unreservedly apologise.
“In recognition of that offence I have stepped down from my role as PPS to the shadow chancellor John McDonnell. I will be seeking to expand my existing engagement and dialogue with Jewish community organisations, and will be stepping up my efforts to combat all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.”