Shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey sacked

The shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

A spokesperson for Starmer said she had been “asked to step down” after sharing an article that “contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory”.

Earlier today, Long-Bailey shared an interview with actor Maxine Peake in the Independent, in which Peake claimed that “the tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”.

Long-Bailey insisted in a later tweet that her original tweet “wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article”.

“I retweeted Maxine Peake’s article because of her significant achievements and because the thrust of her argument is to stay in the Labour Party,” she said.

Starmer’s spokesperson said: “As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority. Antisemitism takes many different forms and it is important that we all are vigilant against it.”

Long-Bailey was appointed in April after Starmer won the Labour leadership election. She replaced Angela Rayner, who became the party’s deputy leader.

Long-Bailey later tweeted she had tried to discuss the matter with Starmer but he had “already made his decision”.

She added: “I am proud of the policies we have developed within the party from our Green Industrial Revolution to a National Education Service and I will never stop working for the change our communities need to see.

“I am clear that I shall continue to support the Labour Party in Parliament under Keir Starmer’s leadership, to represent the people of Salford and Eccles and work towards a more equal, peaceful and sustainable world.”