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Charity suspends MP's aide from role as chair after antisemitism allegations 

14 Jan 2020 News

St Paul's Community Development Trust has suspended its chair, who works as an aide to Labour leadership contender, Jess Phillips, after The Mail on Sunday uncovered social media posts branding Israel a “murderer”. 

Phillips has also suspended Salma Hamid over what she said were “completely unacceptable messages”.

The Mail on Sunday uncovered social media posts by Hamid in which she branded Israel a “murderer” that was “inflicting Holocaust conditions on Palestinians”.

The posts were shared between 2014 and 2016, prior to the Hamid’s employment with the Birmingham Yardley MP and her appointment as a trustee.

Hamid became a trustee and chair of the trustee board at St Paul's Trust in October 2019.

St Paul's Community Development Trust is a community development charity in Birmingham.

Jess Phillips MP: 'We need a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism'

In a statement the charity said: “St Paul’s Community Development Trust is aware of the recent allegations that Salma Hamid sent a number of tweets between 2014 and 2016 that were antisemitic in nature.”

It adds: “In the light of these allegations the board of trustees’ have with immediate effect suspended Salma from her trustee duties.
 
“St Paul’s Trust is committed to encouraging diversity and eliminating discrimination both in its role as an employer and as a provider of services. St Paul’s Trust aims to create a culture that respects and values people’s differences, that promotes dignity, equality and diversity and that encourages individuals to develop and maximise their true potential.”

Phillips has previously criticised Jeremy Corbyn, over his handling of antisemitism in the party.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Phillips said: “Yesterday evening I was shown some completely unacceptable messages posted by a member of my team prior to her employment with me. I have been clear from the outset that we need a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism in the party - and so the person involved was suspended with immediate effect.”

She added: “It is easy to call out and challenge our adversaries, it is far harder to do this when it is our friends and close colleagues. I am really sad that I've had to take this action against a hard working and valued member of staff. But we can't have one rule for those we don't like and another for those we do. I pledge to always take action quickly and effectively, without fear or favour. This is the right thing to do and the only way to start building a bridge again with the Jewish community.”

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