A LABOUR candidate has been suspended from the party after referring to “f***ing Israel” at a meeting.

Graham Jones, the former MP for Hyndburn, also said Britons who signed up to fight for the Israeli Defence Forces “should be locked up”, according to the Guido Fawkes blog.

He is said to have made the comments at the same meeting Azhar Ali – also now suspended from Labour – claimed Israel had allowed Hamas’s attacks on October 7 in order to get a “green light” for its bombardment of Gaza.

The Hyndburn candidate is said to have been called for an interview on Tuesday evening, the PA news agency reports.

Labour were forced into disowning Ali after previously defending him for his comments about Israel – claiming he had fallen for an online conspiracy.

The National: Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer (above) supported Ali, seen by some as being on the right of the party, until the Daily Mail approached the party with more comments he had made, including claims “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” were fuelling criticism of a pro-Palestinian MP.

READ MORE: Labour U-turn on support for Rochdale candidate after 'offensive' Israel claims

The Jewish Labour Movement said Jones’s comments were “appalling and unacceptable”, adding: “We are dismayed that Jones was not only a bystander at the meeting where Azhar Ali made his antisemitic comments, but sought to inflame tensions further.

“Over the past two days, the importance of a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism in Labour has become clearer than ever. Labour must stand Graham Jones down as a parliamentary candidate and conduct a disciplinary investigation.”

The Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region said: “Not only did Mr Jones not seek to challenge the awful views expressed, he doubled down with further deeply offensive comments about British-Israeli Jews.”

The party leadership is now being pressed on why Ali had not been immediately suspended after the comments emerged.

Labour’s handling of the row was branded “shambolic” by the lawyer who led a review into the party’s culture, as the Conservatives also seized on the controversy.

Martin Forde KC said MPs within the party feel there has been a “disparity in treatment” of allegations of antisemitism.

Left-wing critics of the Starmer leadership accused him of showing inconsistency in the handling of the allegations.

The National: Shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor (Danny Lawson/PA)

The party recently suspended the MP Kate Osamor (above) after she said the Gaza war should be remembered as genocide on Holocaust Memorial Day, for which she later apologised.

Veteran MP Diane Abbott also had the whip withdrawn immediately after suggesting Jewish, Irish and Traveller people are not subject to racism “all their lives” in a letter to The Observer last year.

She apologised and suggested “errors arose” in the drafting of the letter.

Forde also highlighted the previous cases, saying “things seemed to drag on in terms of disciplining certain elements of the party, and be dealt with swiftly in others”.

Starmer on Tuesday denied that factionalism played a role in the handling of complaints or allegations of antisemitism.

He said: “I set out four years ago to tear antisemitism out of the Labour Party. It’s the first thing I said I’d do as Labour leader, and to change our party.

“I have taken a series of decisions along those lines, ruthlessly changing our party, and it’s made no difference to me where somebody stands in the Labour Party."