A local councillor has been suspended by Labour for the second time after more of her social media history came to light.
Anne Pissaridou was suspended from the party in July 2020 after two allegedly anti-semitic Facebook posts from 2016 and 2018 came to light.
Her suspension ended in August, although it was not until February that she was readmitted to the council’s Labour group after the other councillors felt she had more to do to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.
Brighton and Hove News understands she has now been adminstratively suspended for 18 months after more social media posts came to light.
In the posts, which date from when Jeremy Corbyn was still the Labour leader and before her first suspension, she downplayed claims of anti-semitism in Labour and appeared to condone an online attack on a Jewish party member.
After her first suspension, she said she was “deeply sorry” and said she had not properly read the anti-semitic material she had posted links to.
Cllr Pissaridou, 73, is now not able to attend group meetings hold office for 18 months which means she will not be able to be selected to run for Labour in next May’s elections.
She is able to attend local branch meetings.
The Labour Party’s regional director for the south east, Teddy Ryan, said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”
A spokesman for the Sussex Jewish Representative Council (SJRC) said: “We are pleased to finally see the appropriate action taken in regards to Anne Pissaridou.
“If the Labour Party is serious in addressing antisemitism it must be consistent at every level.
“She has no place in the party. She cynically tried to suggest that she was engaging with the Jewish community to better understand to hurt she caused in order to gain readmittance to the local party.
“She, in fact, never spoke with the recognised, designated leadership of the local community but instead chose to seek advice from one of the very few Jews who actually supported Corbyn and isn’t even a resident of Brighton and Hove.
“Hardly the actions of someone seeking to establish trust and openness with the local Jewish community.
“In trying to play our community as fools, she compounded the damage done and reinforced our opinion that she is not someone acting in good faith or who can ever be trusted by us.”
Cllr Pissaridou, who represents North Portslade, was one of three Labour councillors reported for alleged anti-Semitism in 2020. The other two, Kate Knight and Nichole Brennan, subsequently quit the party.
As a result, Labour were left with fewer seats on the council than the Greens.
And because the Greens had become the largest party, albeit without a majority, they took over running the council.
Cllrs Knight and Brennan continue to sit as independents, in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and in East Brighton.
All three were selected as candidates after being endorsed by Brighton and Hove Momentum.
When Cllr Pissaridou’s first suspension ended, the other North Portslade councillor Peter Atkinson quit Labour in protest. He is now sitting as an independent.
Editor’s note: This article has been amended to clarify that Cllr Pissaridou’s current suspension is an administrative one.
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