Labour general election candidate deletes 2,000 tweets

  • Post last modified:May 31, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has parachuted pro-Israel lobbyist and Labour right figure Luke Akehurst into a safe seat in North Durham. The seat is around 250 miles away from his home in Oxford. However, many of his tweets have now been deleted. And there’s a reason for that.

Akehurst: a broken ‘delete’ button?

In the week leading up to his selection, Akehurst deleted over 2,000 tweets. And it’s clear why. He has some highly questionable views particularly on Israel’s genocide and colonial occupation of Palestinian people.

In a now deleted tweet, Akehurst said footage appearing to show Palestinians facing Israeli bombardment in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza in November 2023 was staged and the people ‘actors’:

In another deleted tweet, he explicitly said the UN is “antisemitic”:

Akehurst, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, described the UN as antisemitic in reference to the security council reaffirming in 2016 that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory are illegal.

He believes West Bank settlements should officially become part of Israel, as well as the Golan Heights, which Israel took from Syria in 1967.

Glowing review from Israeli embassy

Akehurst has been director of lobby group We Believe in Israel since it formed in 2011.

Israeli diplomat Shai Masot has spoke about Akehurst’s role in the organisation and the Labour Party. Masot, who didn’t know an undercover Al Jazeera reporter was filming him, said Akehurst was “one of the best on the inside“.

In 2022, Akehurst and his lobby group tried to get activist and musician Lowkey’s music removed from Spotify. Akehurt told Jewish News that “the presence of Lowkey’s music is particularly offensive”.

The tracks he sought to remove include Long Live Palestine Part 2. He falsely accused Lowkey of incitement.

On social media, Akehurst has also reposted Labour Friends of Israel welcoming Yair Golan as leader of the Israeli Labour Party. Golan has called for the collective punishment of Palestinian people:

it is forbidden to allow a humanitarian effort. We need to say to them: listen, until the [captives] are released, from our side, you can die from starvation. It’s totally legitimate.

The last thing we need is more MPs who are apologists for Israel’s colonialism and genocide. Akehurst failed to get elected for Labour in 2001 and 2005. We need to ensure that happens again.

Featured image via Times Radio – YouTube

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