Councillors from Harrow and Brent were among those who signed a statement in defence of Rebecca Long-Bailey, who was sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after sharing an article that “contained an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.

Brent councillors Abdirazak Abdi, Claudia Hector and Jumbo Chan were joined by Harrow councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick on a list of signatories put forward by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour Councillors calling for her to be reinstated.

Ms Long-Bailey was “asked to step down” from her position as Shadow Education Secretary by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on Thursday (June 25).

It came after she tweeted the link to an interview with actor Maxine Peake in The Independent, in which Ms Peake claimed “tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”.

A spokesperson for Sir Keir said: “As leader of the Labour Party, Keir has been clear that restoring trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority.

“Anti-Semitism takes many different forms and it is important that we are all vigilant against it.”

However, the campaign group suggested Sir Keir’s decision to remove Ms Long-Bailey from her position was “wholly unjustified”.

In its statement, it said: “It is not racist to criticise the repressive actions of states nor to point out the links between repressive authorities.”

It went on to praise Ms Long-Bailey’s work in her education brief and urged Sir Keir to retract his decision and offer a “full and unequivocal apology”.

The group also lent its support to MPs John McDonnell and Richard Burgon who have criticised the Labour leader’s move.

“This action by Keir Starmer throws into question his claim to be against factionalism and for party unity,” it said.

In a later tweet, Ms Long-Bailey explained that her original post “wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article”.

She added that she had tried to discuss the matter with Sir Keir, but he had “already made his decision”.

“I am clear that I shall continue to support the Labour Party in Parliament under Keir Starmer’s leadership, to represent the people of Salford and Eccles and work towards a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world,” she said.