London MP Kate Osamor has Labour whip restored following investigation into comments on Gaza war

London MP Kate Osamor who got back the Labour whip after a row over a Gaza war social media post (PA Media)
London MP Kate Osamor who got back the Labour whip after a row over a Gaza war social media post (PA Media)

London MP Kate Osamor has had the Labour whip restored following an investigation into comments she made about the war in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the party said: "The Chief Whip has today restored the Labour whip to Kate Osamor MP.

“This follows a full investigation by the Labour Party into complaints received about a social media post she made in January."

In a post on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, Ms Osamor had appeared to suggest the conflict in Gaza should be remembered as a genocide.

She subsequently apologised and was recently expected to get the whip back, according to Westminster sources.

Edmonton MP Ms Osamor, who served in Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench, said on Wednesday: "I am grateful to the Labour Party for their investigation into my conduct and I accept the outcome in full.

"I want to unreservedly apologise again for my comments. I made remarks which were insensitive, inappropriate, and which I apologise for and regret.

"I will continue to reach out to Jewish stakeholders and the community. I am committed to ensuring that I don't fall short of the highest standards.

"I look forward to continuing to represent my constituents of Edmonton in Westminster as a Labour MP."

In a post on social media, Ms Osamor had appeared to say that the war in the Palestinian territory should be remembered as a genocide, alongside atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II as well as other mass slaughters in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

She was criticised by Labour shadow ministers for the comments and the party said it was “generally accepted across the board as offensive” to use the Holocaust to criticise Israel.

The decision to restore the whip to Ms Osamor will pile pressure on Sir Keir Starmer to do the same for veteran MP Diane Abbott.

Fellow London MP Ms Abbott remains suspended by Labour after she appeared last year to diminish racism directed at Jewish people.

In a letter to the Observer, Ms Abbott had said that white people such as Irish, Jewish, Traveller and redhead individuals did experience prejudice, "but they are not all their lives subject to racism".

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington apologised “wholly and unreservedly” but remains deprived of the Labour whip pending an independent investigation commissioned by party chiefs.

In March the veteran left-winger accused Sir Keir of being determined to keep her out the parliamentary party because of her frequent attacks on the leadership.

Some senior Labour figures had rallied round her after it emerged that top Tory donor Frank Hester had made racist comments against her.

Asked about the status of its investigation into Ms Abbott, the Labour party said it had no update to offer.

Ms Osamor’s return to the Labour ranks comes weeks after the party restored the whip to Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, who was suspended in October after using the phrase “between the river and the sea” in a speech at a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

He said it had not been his intention to use language that would cause distress and that he “bitterly regret(ted)” the “pain and hurt caused”.

Criticism of Israel from some in Labour intensified after the UN’s top court in January ruled that the country must do all it can to prevent “genocide”, including refraining from harming or killing Palestinian civilians, and must urgently get basic aid into Gaza.

Israel bitterly denies the allegation of genocide which was brought by South Africa at the International Court of Justice, and accuses foreign powers of double-standards by allegedly failing to hold Hamas to account.

The Palestinian terror group killed 1,200 Israelis in a series of raids on October 7. Israel’s resultant war in Gaza has left more than 34,700 Palestinians dead, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry.