A SCOTS Labour councillor has suggested that the Israeli secret service is behind Jewish newspapers' criticism of the party's stance on anti-Semitism.

Fife councillor Mary Lockhart spoke out about articles she said were attacking the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn including commentary in "three Jewish newspapers".

She said: "If the purpose is to generate opposition to anti-semitism, it has backfired spectacularly.

"If it is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, it is unlikely to succeed, and is a shameless piece of cynical opportunism.

The Herald: Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn

"If it is a Mossad assisted campaign to prevent the election of a Labour Government pledged to recognise Palestine as a state, it is unacceptable interference in the democracy of Britain.

"Whatever motivates it, and the MPs who exploit it, the Labour Party is neither racist, not anti-semitic. And the hysterical claims that it is, after inquiries, consultation, rule changes, calm and peaceable statements, should not be permitted to further influence the Party's rules."

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Among the first to criticise her was retired MSP Dr Richard Simpson who declared it a "conspiracy theory".

Dr Simpson, an honorary professor of health sciences and sport at Stirling University said: "She is a good councillor but..."

Two years ago, when she was Scottish Labour's newest councillor she was accused of linking her own party's officials to Nazis in a post on Facebook.

She had been protesting a decision to ban a number of Labour members from voting in the upcoming leadership contest.

In response, the Fife councillor quoted a famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller about Nazis persecution.

Ms Lockhart wrote on Facebook: “Who will they expel next? I have friends who are genuinely fearful!”

The Herald:

Underneath, she posted: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

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Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

Scottish Labour said at the time that the comparison was “unacceptable”.

Ms Lockhart apologised for any offence caused and added: "I have found Pastor Neimoller’s most widely quoted poem inspiring since I first encountered it when the Rector of my school used it as a text on which to base his address at a school assembly.

"It is, in my view, a poem about having the courage to speak up for others experiencing adversity, whether you agree with their views or not, and it seems to me to underline some of the fundamental values of the Labour Party, namely solidarity.

“In posting it on Facebook, I had no intention of implying that suspensions or expulsions from the Labour Party were comparable to the Holocaust, or to the deliberate extermination of Jewish people, Lutherans, disabled people, and homosexuals which cast a long shadow over the 20th Century and beyond.

"I am deeply sorry if the post, in solidarity with a friend whose membership has been suspended, was interpreted as making such a comparison”.

Ms Lockhart was elected in a by-election following the resignation of Britain's last elected Communist politician.

Her win was hailed by the SNP who pointed out she was a pro-independence candidate.