Chair of trust and aide to Labour leadership hopeful Jess Phillips suspended after 'antisemitic' tweets

The chair of a development trust in Birmingham who is an aide to a Labour Party leadership contender has been suspended from both of her roles after she was accused of posting antisemitic tweets.

Salma Hamid, who is the constituency office manager for Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, was the subject of a Mail on Sunday story alleging that Hamid had sent a number of tweets between 2014 and 2016 that were antisemitic in nature.

The tweets allegedly included references to the Holocaust and comparisons between Israel and the terrorist group Islamic State.

Hamid had been chair of St Paul’s Community Development Trust since October 2019. A statement from the charity said that, in light of the allegations, it had suspended her as a trustee with immediate effect.

"St. Paul’s Trust is committed to encouraging diversity and eliminating discrimination both in its role as an employer and as a provider of service," a statement from the charity said.

"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."

In a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday, Phillips confirmed she had suspended Hamid with immediate effect once the messages came to her attention.

"Yesterday evening, I was shown some completely unacceptable messages posted by a member of my team prior to her employment with me," she tweeted.

"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.

"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."

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the regulator noted the fact that Hamid had been suspended from her role at the trust.

"We expect the other trustees to consider whether they should submit a serious incident report to us as regulator," the spokeswoman said.

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