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Labour councillor Terry Kelly reinstated after Zionism row

The Renfrewshire councillor was suspended after a series of blog posts critical of Israel.

By STV News

Published 12 Jul 2016.

Renfrewshire councillor Terry Kelly has been reinstated into Scottish Labour after he was suspended over alleged anti-Semitic comments.

Kelly wrote a series of blog posts over a period of years critical of Israel, Zionism and "the Jewish lobby", but said he was not "anti-Jewish in any way".

Among his posts included a defence of comments made by Ken Livingston in which the former London mayor suggested Hitler supported Zionism.

Livingston's remarks prompted his suspension from the Labour Party and row over anti-Semitism within the party which saw a number of other Labour figures suspended pending investigation, such as MP Naz Shah.

Kelly was suspended on May 4.

He revealed his suspension from the party had been dropped in a blog post last Thursday, in which he called the anti-Semitism row "gutter politics at its worst".

Kelly wrote: "This was a classic smear against me and others in the party by a coalition consisting of Israeli Zionist extremists,' opportunistic right wing Tories and the usual fetid SNP suspects,

"It failed quite spectacularly. It was doomed to fail because they targeted Labour Party people who had reputations for campaigning against racism and bigotry all their lives.

"In over 43 years in the Labour Party I have never heard one anti-Semitic remark made, it was gutter politics at its worst."

In previous blog posts, Kelly, who represents the Paisley North West council ward, alleged that the Oscars are rigged by the "powerful Jewish lobby" and that the same lobby dictated President Obama's foreign policy, saying: "The American Jewish Lobby is extremely powerful and it has its boot on Obama's neck".

The leader of Renfrewshire Council and the Labour group has confirmed Kelly's reinstatement.

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