A Labour councillor who was suspended over allegedly anti-Semitic Facebook posts has reportedly been told she will be reinstated in July.
Anne Pissaridou, who represents North Portslade, was suspended in July after the posts came to light.
The Sunday Times has now reported that her suspension will end in a year, allowing her to return this summer.
The news has been greeted with dismay by the local Jewish community.
A spokesperson for the Sussex Jewish Representative Council said: “It is disappointing to hear that Anne Pissaridou has only been suspended from the Labour Party for a year.
“This is hardly the ‘zero-tolerance’ for antisemitism that Keir Starmer has promised. She shared a wholly inappropriate and offensive anti-Semitic article from a conspiracy theory website.
“It is time that people, especially elected officials, take personal responsibility for their social media postings and read the content of media they choose to share. This casual anti-Jewish racism needs to stop.”
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
Councillor Pissaridou was one of three councillors accused of anti-Semitism last summer. The other two, Councillor Nichole Brennan and Councillor Kate Knight, both resigned before any action was taken by the party.
This led to the minority Labour administration losing power to the Greens.
Today, there are 17 Labour and 19 Green councillors, so Councillor Pissaridou’s reinstatement to the Labour party will not affect the current balance of power.
All three of the councillors accused of anti-Semitism were selected to stand for the party in the May 2019 elections after being included on a slate drawn up by the local branch of Momentum.
Councillor Pissaridou’s first post, made in October 2016, was of an article from a conspiracy theory website which linked one of the Rothschilds with what it claimed was the imminent collapse of the German banking system and warnings to stockpile food.
It was illustrated with a picture of a smiling Sir Jacob Rothschild surrounded by bars of gold contrasted with an anxious child grabbing bottles of water, and stated that his family had been in “de facto control of the world’s central banks for centuries.”
The second post, made in August 2018, was from a website run by Mike Sivier, who had been expelled from Labour earlier that year, reportedly for refusing anti-Semitism training.
The headline was ‘Jewish Israeli journalist claims pro-Israel propagandists have ‘taken out a contract’ to stop Jeremy Corbyn being elected’.
While she is suspended, Councillor Pissaridou cannot attend any Labour group meetings or represent the party and is representing her constituents as an independent.
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