The Labour party has suspended Renfrewshire Councillor Jim Sheridan after he published a post on Facebook regarding the anti-Semitism row engulfing Labour.
He had been criticised for the social media post in which he said he no longer respected the Jewish community because of their work with ‘Blairite plotters’.
Cllr Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council has welcomed the Labour party’s ‘swift action’ with Sheridan’s suspension and ‘urges him to resign’ from the council.
Sheridan, 65 is a former MP of 14 years and was succeeded by Gavin Newlands, SNP in 2015 as MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North.
He is now a Renfrewshire Council councillor for Houston, Crosslee and Linwood ward.
A Labour party spokesman said: “The Labour party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and we are committed to challenging and campaigning against it in all its forms.
“All complaints about antisemitism are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
Renfrewshire North & West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Executive Committee released a statement, it read: “The Executive Committee of Renfrewshire North and West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) welcomes the suspension of Jim Sheridan from the Labour Party, pending investigating in his alleged anti-Semitic comments made in a Facebook post on Friday 17th August.
“We fully condemn the anti-Semitic comments expressed by Jim Sheridan, and it is right that he is subject to a full investigation by the Labour Party.
“The views expressed by Jim Sheridan in no way reflect the views of the members of the Labour Party in the Renfrewshire North and West constituency.
“These comments are in direct conflict with the Labour Party’s values of anti-racism, equality and solidarity. Ass Party, we are committed to tackling racism, prejudice and discrimination in all its forms.
“There is absolutely no place in the Labour Party for anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is an evil which must be called out and challenged, whenever and wherever it appears. ltd imperative that our party — the Labour Party — is a welcoming home to all members, of all communities.
“The Executive Committee of Renfrewshire North and West CLP will make no further comment whilst this investigation is ongoing.”
Cllr Iain Nicolson Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “When I first saw the comments I couldn’t believe what he was saying. To smear an entire community both past and present, to say he has lost ‘all empathy’ for them is utterly deplorable.
“This has cast a dark shadow over everyone who works hard to make Renfrewshire a great place to live and work. We are an inclusive community and we distance ourselves completely from his comments.
“I welcome the Labour party’s swift action on this and would urge Cllr Sheridan to resign from the council. I fail to see how he can fulfil his oath to ‘represent all his constituents ‘regardless of their religious and political beliefs’. On a personal point, my family are not unique, they have many different ancestry including German Jewish so his comments are personally abhorrent.
“Cllr Sheridan’s thinking clearly belong in the dark ages and it’s that thinking that quickly leads to action and to humanitarian disasters that humankind have witnessed too often through persecution and wars based on singling out the differences between people on culture and religious beliefs.”
Sheridan has since removed the post and has not commented on social media since. Renfrewshire News has been unable to reach Mr Sheridan for comment.
Jim Sheridan’s post in full: “For all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering.
“No longer due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long-suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”
Photo: Statement from Renfrewshire North and West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Executive Committee