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Labour councillor 'administratively suspended' over social media posts

A councillor has been ‘administratively suspended’ from the Labour Group following posts made on social media.

An investigation is underway into the remarks of Chalvey ward councillor Mohammed Sharif made on his Facebook page in 2016.

Mr Sharif faces complaints about posts which include criticising the Israeli Government for its treatment of the Palestinian people.

The posts circulated on social media this week with former Conservative councillor Rayman Bains calling for ‘strong action’ to be taken against Cllr Sharif.

A Labour Group spokesperson said: “Cllr Sharif has been administratively suspended from the Labour Group following complaints about postings on social media.

“We will make a further statement once the investigation has been completed.”

When contacted by the Express, Cllr Sharif, who has served as a borough councillor since 2011, said he has always made fighting for human rights his key priority.

He said: “In my view no religion is above humanity and if you study most of the religions the first practice is the teaching of humanity.

“On my Facebook page over the years I’ve criticised the Government of India over the treatment of people in Kashmir, Burma over the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims as well as the Government of Israeli for their treatment of Palestinian people.

“I received a letter (from the Labour Group) with an image of the comments I made against the Government of Israel and they have asked me to explain what I mean by those comments.

“The reason I’m in the Labour Party is because I believe it is the best for equality and the treatment of all faiths, nationalities and religions.”

The Party’s Complaints and Disputes Department is investigating the matter.

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