A SHADOW Cabinet Minister was dragged into an anti-Semitism row last night after a Tory MP claimed he alluded to a Jewish businessman as a “puppet-master”.
Labour’s Steve Reed was accused of using the trope about Richard Desmond who has been at the centre of a £1 billion property deal controversially signed off by the government.
He was also responding to claims that Home Secretary Priti Patel met Desmond and then called for a relaxation of lottery rules.
He tweeted: “Is billionaire former porn-baron Desmond the puppet master for the entire Tory cabinet?”
One Tory source demanded Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer condemn Reed’s words.
Andrew Percy MP, said: “Alluding to Jews as puppet-masters is an age old antisemitic trope and for a Shadow Cabinet member to use this trope is totally unacceptable.
“If Keir Starmer was serious about tackling antisemitism he would sack Steve Reed on the spot.
“Otherwise the British people will rightly conclude the action taken against Rebecca Long-Bailey last week was done out of political convenience rather than principle.”
A source close to Steve Reed said: “Steve did not know Richard Desmond was Jewish. He deleted the tweet and did not mean to cause any offence.”
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