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06th Apr 2022

Councillor accused of Islamophobia standing for Labour party

Ava Evans

Members say Labour cannot call itself an “anti racist party” any longer

Labour have been accused of failing to tackle Islamophobia, after a councillor suspended over alleged racist comments has appeared on the ballot in time for local elections.

Members had been assured in writing by a senior Labour party official that Joyce McCarty, who had been harassing Muslim councillors, was administratively suspended – despite this, McCarty is back on the ballot for this May.

McCarty was administratively suspended following the deselection of her friend Nick Forbes in February, who has headed the Labour-run local authority since 2011.

In texts seen by PoliticsJOE, she described the landslide vote as a “muslim plot” to several BAME councillors – and threatened to damage their reputations and oust them from positions of responsibility.

Suspended party members are not eligible to stand in elections, but since her nomination was filed prior to disciplinary measures – she will be able to stand as a Labour councillor.

While Labour have said it no longer endorsed her candidacy, the party tweeted on April 3rd pledging support for McCarty.

“The Labour Party cannot call itself an anti racist party,” said Mish Rahman, a Labour NEC member. “It seems to take some instances of racism more seriously than others and depending on who carried out the offence.

“When it comes to tackling Islamophobia, I have zero confidence in this leadership,” he said.

The Labour party has come under scrutiny of late after several failings to investigate instances of Islamophobia. 

Last Summer, during the Batley and Spen by-election, a party leaflet distributed to Muslim voters showed Boris Johnson with India’s nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the message “Don’t risk a Tory MP who is not on your side”.

One unnamed Labour official told the MailOnline the party were “haemorrhaging votes among Muslim voters” because Muslims were “united in their bigotry” over gay rights and Palestine.

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner promised an investigation into the “patently vile” Islamophobia, but are yet to publish findings.

Meanwhile, the party has also been criticised for readmitting Trevor Phillips – after his suspension for alleged Islamophobia was lifted. 

Phillips had claimed that British Muslims are “becoming a nation within a nation” and declared that placing a Christian girl with Muslim foster parents is “akin to child abuse”.

Joyce McCarty has not responded to request for comment.

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