By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter
The opposition leader of a council has broken ranks with the Labour Party and alleged a suspended councillor called him and other Muslim politicians a “national threat”.
Kensington and Chelsea Labour Group leader, councillor Kasim Ali, made a robust speech during Wednesday night’s full council meeting denouncing his colleague’s behaviour.
He claimed fellow Labour and ward councillor Eva Jedut shared “far-right, hate [sic] and Islamophobic” comments on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The opposition leader went on to accuse cllr Jedut of calling Muslim councillors a national threat and a sitting black councillor “a word that I do not want to repeat”.
He said: “Although I cannot comment on on-going issues, at the same time, I am here to report that this councillor has been re-posting far-right, hate [sic] and Islamophobic comments.
“The same councillor in question is calling Muslim councillors, including myself, a national threat. In other words, terrorists.”
He added: “The same councillor called, at work, a sitting black councillor, a word that I do not want to repeat in this council chamber.”
Cllr Ali said he believed the suspended politician, who shared a tweet accusing the Zionist movement of being “married” to socialism, was acting “not just on something to do with anti-Semitism, but also Islamophobia, hate and racism”.
He said he would inform the council once a decision had been made by the Labour Party on cllr Jedut’s membership.
He continued: “This is not acceptable. I am a proud Muslim and I am proud to be a citizen of this country and I am proud to serve my community, of all religions and for those that do not have a religion.
“We should be dealing with this issue sincerely and as a council, and as individuals, and as community leaders who were elected.
“I hope and expect this Conservative-led council will agree with me that we are not accepting individuals that are dividing our communities and [that] we are united on that front.”
Cllr Jedut was not present at the meeting but has since denied making offensive comments about a single member of Kensington and Chelsea Labour group in the past or present in a statement.
She said she is “deeply offended” by Cllr Ali’s remarks and accused him of carrying out a smear campaign against her, and called on him to resign.
She added she believes any investigations into party members should be kept confidential. She thanked her Delgarno ward residents for their continued support and looks forward to working with them.
Cllr Ali’s comments come after the Labour Party said it does not provide commentary on internal investigations or processes.
The allegations come days after cllr Jedut was handed an administrative suspension by the Labour Party for the social media posts.
A source said she was told to stand aside in April this year. At the time, a Labour spokesperson said the party takes complaints seriously and assesses them in accordance with its rules and procedures.
Pictured top: RBKC Labour Group leader, councillor Kasim Ali, speaking at a council meeting on Wednesday where he accused cllr Eva Jedut of sharing “far-right, hate[ful] and Islamophobic” content on X (Picture: RBKC)
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:
“A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or, please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ