Eddie Izzard warns Labour must 'repair damage' from anti-semitism storm

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It follows the announcement on Saturday that Ms Shawcroft - a left-wing supporter of Jeremy Corbyn - was standing down following demands from MPs that she should quit in another row over anti-Semitism.

In a statement she said: "It has been a privilege to serve on the Labour Party national executive committee for the last 19 years, and I was standing down in September in any event".

Mr Corbyn said: "I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic".

A Labour spokesman said the groups were not connected to the party in any way. It has no place in our party.

An investigation into 20 of the largest pro-Corbyn Facebook groups - comprising of around 400,000 members - had uncovered attacks on Jewish people, including Holocaust denial.

While friction between Jewish advocacy groups and Corbyn has existed nearly since the start of his reign, the latest confrontation began when a 6-year-old Facebook posting was brought to public attention last month by a Labour Party lawmaker who is Jewish.

The personal social media account of Labour UK leader Jeremy Corbyn was deactivated, following criticism of Corbyn's defense of anti-Semitic caricatures, and revelations that Corbyn's account was a member of social media groups used to spread anti-Semitic propaganda.

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The investigation concluded that numerous staff concerned were either no longer active on Facebook or were unaware they were members of these and had not seen the content that was being highlighted.

"The Labour Party is committed to challenging and campaigning against anti-Semitism in all its forms".

Asked how it made him feel to see 1,500 people take to the streets to protest him, he said: "I'm not an anti-Semite in any way, never have been, never will be".

"These are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action taken". It has also yet to deal with high-profile cases such as that of the former London mayor Ken Livingstone, suspended for saying that Hitler supported Zionism "before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews".

She was replaced on the leadership committee by actor-comedian Eddie Izzard, who on Sunday acknowledged Labour's rift with Britain's Jews.

She was forced to stand down from her position on Labour's disputes panel on Wednesday, after she sent an email calling for a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial to have his suspension lifted.

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