Labour’s Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt will not stand for the South Thanet parliamentary seat in the next General Election after the Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decided not to endorse her yesterday (December 18)
Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt was selected by party members in April but the NEC did not endorse the former art curator saying she had brought the party into disrepute based on tweets made from a Centre for Cultural Change Twitter account.
Accusations were made by ‘political’ blog Guido Fawkes that tweets from the account, used by Dr Gordon-Nesbitt as well as other academics, questioned the “Zionist sympathies” of Jewish MPs and defended suspended member Jackie Walker.
Dr Gordon-Nesbitt says she occasionally contributed to the account, which was closed after the accusations last year, but had endorsements to say neither she or the tweets were antisemitic.
In an email to party members Dr Gordon-Nesbitt says: “Despite all of these endorsements and the fact that I had notified the party and worked with staff to issue a public apology as soon as the tweets first came to light, the NEC decided not to endorse me on the basis that I’d brought the party into disrepute.
“This overturns the democratic decision that you (party members) made in April, and it deprives us of the right to appeal.”
Dr Gordon-Nesbitt claims the leak to Guido Fawkes, which first highlighted her link to the twitter account, initially came from within her own party. She says the tweets were also taken out of context.
She added: “The Centre for Cultural Change tweets were in no way intended to imply that antisemitism doesn’t exist in the Labour Party. They were taken out of context on the right-wing Guido Fawkes hate blog to imply that I was antisemitic.”
Dr Gordon-Nesbitt, who said she has been the target of attacks from Tories, the National Front and members of her own party, will spend the Christmas period considering her options.
She added: “I’d like to thank all of you who supported the parliamentary team and worked alongside us to bring the Labour message of hope to one of the most deprived communities in the country. I want you to know that I gave everything I have, both personally and financially, to win this seat for Labour.”
The selection process for a parliamentary candidate must now begin again.