Christine Shawcroft, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has resigned from Labour’s National Executive Committee with immediate effect amid an ongoing antisemitism row engulfing the party.
The Momentum director claimed that her membership of the party’s ruling body had become a “distraction” and “an excuse for endless intrusive media harassment of myself, my family and friends”.
Her departure comes after dozens of Labour MPs and peers demanded the Labour leader suspend Ms Shawcroft over her defence of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial.
Ms Shawcroft will be replaced on the NEC by comedian Eddie Izzard, as he received the next highest share of votes, The Independent understands.
“It has been a privilege to serve on the Labour Party National Executive Committee for the last 19 years, and I was standing down in September in any event. I have, however, decided to resign with immediate effect,” Ms Shawcroft said in a statement.
“It is clear that my continued membership of the NEC has become a distraction for the party and an excuse for endless intrusive media harassment of myself, my family and friends.
“I reaffirm my complete opposition to antisemitism and my abhorrence of Holocaust denial, and support all measures to tackle this within the party.
“And I pledge my full energy to securing for our country the Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn that it so desperately needs.”
The Momentum director had already resigned from her position as head of the NEC Disputes Panel after it emerged she had questioned the suspension of a Labour council candidate accused of describing the Holocaust as a “hoax”.
Ms Shawcroft said she was “deeply sorry” after a leaked email revealed she claimed Alan Bull’s Facebook post was “taken out of context”.
“I sent this email before being aware of the full information about this case and I had not been shown the image of his abhorrent Facebook post,” said Ms Shawcroft.
“Had I seen this image I would not have requested that the decision to suspend him be reconsidered.”
Mr Corbyn, who has himself apologised for showing support for an antisemitic mural in 2012, has faced a storm of criticism over his handling of the issue.
The Labour leader insisted he was “not an antisemite in any way” but admitted there had been 300 complaints of antisemitism in the party since he became leader in 2015.