The leader of Kirklees Council was told he was “not fit for public office” in a Twitter spat with a high profile MP.
Veteran Labour councillor, David Sheard , was slapped down by London-based Labour MP Wes Streeting in an online row on Thursday.
The argument began after Mr Streeting criticised his own party’s handling of the long running anti-semitism scandal, which some believe is being fabricated by enemies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Streeting took to Twitter to disagree, saying the party needed to “hold a mirror up” to itself and “stop the rot.”
Clr Sheard, a loyal supporter of Mr Corbyn, sparked the conflict after he accused Mr Streeting of using the row to try and engineer another Labour leadership contest, which he said Mr Streeting would lose.
Mr Streeting responded: “If that’s your attitude to tackling racism in our party then you’re not fit for public office.”
Speaking to the Examiner, Clr Sheard said he obviously did not agree with the member for Ilford North.
“I was just criticising his lack of loyalty to the party,” Clr Sheard said.
“He has been continually criticising JC from the day he was elected and I just complained about it.”
Every day another disgrace. It’s time to stop deflecting and clear up our own mess before blaming others. Our ability to hold a mirror up to the Tories and others is diminished by our failure to hold a mirror up to ourselves and stop the rot. https://t.co/kOxVjBHSse— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) April 19, 2018
If that’s your attitude to tackling racism in our party then you’re not fit to hold public office.— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) April 19, 2018
Clr Sheard said he hadn’t heard any anti-semitism in Kirklees but was aware of the strong anti-Israel feeling in parts of the community, which he said was an entirely different matter.
He added: “I think a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon about this.
“Those that shout the loudest are the ones who’ve been against Jeremy Corbyn.”
The Twitter row has been jumped on by Conservatives in Kirklees, as it came just a few days after the deputy leader, Clr Shabir Pandor, was implicated in a foul-mouthed anti-Tory election leaflet .
Clr Sheard said the controversy, just two weeks before the local elections, did not worry him.
“If that’s all they’ve got to talk about it just shows how little they have to offer,” he said.
“Perhaps I shouldn’t have done it but at least it takes the pressure off others.”
While he is not up for re-election personally Clr Sheard has confirmed again that he would continue for one more year as leader if the Kirklees party backed him following the election results.
His term of office ends in May 2019, at which point he is expected to retire.