Labour’s National Executive Committee have decided not to endorse Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt to be the party’s candidate in South Thanet at the next general election, despite her winning the vote of local members.
The decision follows a series of tweets from an organisation she runs which dismissed allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party as “politically motivated,” defended Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone, and questioned the “Zionist sympathies” of the Jewish Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. The tweets were first revealed in April by Guido Fawkes.
The tweets were posted by The Centre for Cultural Change, a think tank whose twitter account regularly promoted Gordon-Nesbitt’s candidacy, and for whom she appears to be the only member of staff. It’s Twitter account claimed that “antisemitism has been weaponised by those who seek to silence anti-zionist voices,” and “to discredit the left.” Defending Ken Livingstone, the account tweeted that his suspension was the result of a smear campaign “orchestrated by the Israel lobby,” and asked “has anyone Hitler’s policy on Zionism? Might not be mutually exclusive with his later actions.” The would-be candidate claims the tweets were “taken out of context.”
Gordon-Nesbitt, who says she “joined the Labour Party to support Jeremy Corbyn,” narrowly defeated the Momentum and Unite-backed candidate in the selection race. She works as a parliamentary researcher for Lord Alan Howarth, the former MP who defected from the Conservatives to Tony Blair’s Labour in 1995.
In a statement she posted to Facebook following the NEC’s decision, Gordon-Nesbitt said: “I’ll spend the holiday period considering my options. I’d like to find a way of shedding some light on the people who seek to prevent us making the changes that our country so badly needs.”