Reading Labour Party has cancelled 'training' by a campaigner accused of anti-semitism because of comments at a pro-Palestine protest.

Glyn Secker, the secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), was scheduled to speak to Reading and District Labour (RDLP) members at an event later this month.

The event, originally advertised as training, was approved and circulated by the RDLP and later titled as a JVL presentation.

Mo McSevney, chair of RDLP, said she approved the event  but cancelled it after hearing Mr Secker’s comments, which criticised 'Jewish leaders'.

She said: “Glyn has since apologised for his comments. Nobody in RDLP would support what he said.

“We cannot be seen to be support someone who said something like that. The sensible thing to do was cancel the event.”

Helen Caney, Secretary of RDLP, said the event was organised by a branch of the party who then asked if RDLP wanted to be involved in it.

The cancellation of the event was supported by several Reading Labour councillors, including Cllrs Rachel Eden, Richard Davies and Adele Barnett-Ward.

Kathy McCubbing, an RDLP member, said she is ‘disappointed’ that the event was cancelled without discussion with members.

She added: “I have seen criticism of the 'controversial' event from half a dozen members of Reading CLP.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands of members of this CLP so they represent a tiny, but vocal and powerful minority.

“Glyn Secker was speaking out against the far right, fascists, their allies and those bodies who turn a blind eye and it is quite insulting and offensive to cast this man as being racist.”

Councillor Sophia James, vice-chair (Reading East) of RDLP, said it is not practical to discuss everything with all members.

She said: “The Israel-Palestine conflict is always quite a challenging thing. The two things often get confused.

“Glyn Secker has since apologised which confirms to me that we made the right decision.

“Suggesting that Jewish people were in the gutter with rats; I am not comfortable with comments like that.

“Personally, I would not invite someone who is going to be intentionally inflammatory.

“It is very important to be fair and respectful to people on both sides.”

At the rally on May 11, Mr Secker, who is Jewish, told the crowd: “We have our own [US] Republicans here — a fifth column inside the Labour Party.

“One hundred and nineteen Labour Friends of Israel MPs led by [Margaret] Hodge and [Tom] Watson and the Jewish Labour Movement.

“It’s not about antisemitism here either. The Labour Party secretary Formby has established the serious cases amount to 100th of 1 per cent.

“And Jewish leaders are turning a blind eye to the extreme right even when their own Zionist Federation embraces the English Defence League, a neo-fascist group banned on Facebook.

“What on earth are Jews doing in the gutter with these rats?”

Mr Secker has apologised for the language he used in the rally but denied it was anti-Semitic.