A retired South Dorset Labour Party chairman has been suspended from the party after she was found to have shared several anti-Semitic social media posts.

Mollie Collins,who retired in July as chairman of the South Dorset Constituency Labour Party (CLP), was suspended from the Labour Party earlier this week when it was discovered that she had shared the posts on her Facebook feed.

The posts in question contain a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

One such post, which dates back to June 2016, featured a picture of a sheet with the words "Rothschilds bankers did 9/11 not Muslims" printed on it. Another post referred to Holocaust denial.

Speaking to the Echo, Mrs Collins, 83, from Weymouth denied holding anti-Semitic beliefs.

She claimed that she only shared the posts to promote debate about it. Mrs Collins asserted that she sometimes shared posts without fully reading them and acknowledged the objectionable nature of the content.

She said: "I am not a young, social media savvy person. I do have a habit of going share, share, share. They usually come from people I know, and they are often controversial.

"I am totally guilty of sharing things without fully reading them. I didn't do it to provoke or upset anybody. I did it to promote a discussion. I have no intention of causing offence to anyone."

With Mrs Collins now having been suspended from Labour, her case is to be put under investigation by the party.

Earlier this year, Mrs Collins unsuccessfully ran to be a councillor, both for Weymouth Town Council to represent Preston and for Dorset Council to represent Crossways.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "The Labour Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously, which are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken. We cannot comment on individual cases."

The South Dorset Constituency Labour Party has been contacted by the Echo for comment on the matter.

The Labour Party has come under fire recently over allegations of anti-Semitism in the party. The Equality and Human Rights Committee is currently investigating these claims.

A number of high profile members including Ken Livingstone, Naz Shah and Chris Williamson have been suspended from the party over accusations of anti-Semitism. Naz Shah has subsequently been reinstated.

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