Former Labour councillor Harriet Bradley may be an 'academic' as she points out in her Twitter profile, but qualifications are not an antidote for stupidity. On the back of some grotesque banners and chants in recent weeks, an emboldened Bradley thought it might be appropriate to publicly call for the bombing of a Jewish Labour meeting. Retweeting a fellow anti-Semite, she added: "Somebody blow up the venue!"
It's not clear who 'Former Labour SPAD' is, but it will come as no surprise to find their profile indicates they are a Corbynite and potentially one of his 'SpAds' aka special advisors. The same anonymous profile incorporates a Nazi swastika into the Star of David, a favourite insult of the far left towards the Israeli state.
While Bradley's own tweet may have been in jest, such a remark in the current climate is dumb to say the least. It stayed up for two whole days before Jewish activists drew attention to it and it was removed in a rare act of Twitter censorship. Having not deleted it herself, Bradley's apology five days later rang a little hollow. She wrote: "I would like to apologise to anybody hurt or frightened by my tweet. It was a remark made as a joke, but I can see now it was a terrible mistake in awful taste". The 78-year-old added: "I am of Jewish heritage, had a Jewish partner for many years and many of my extended family are Jewish. I feel great respect for the Jewish people but I deplore what Netanyahu and the Israeli Defence Force are doing in Gaza, killing and mutilating thousands of children and babies."
Bradley is now facing a police investigation by Avon and Somerset Police and has had two honorary university titles withdrawn. She had been a sociology professor at the University of Western England prior to her retirement in 2018, but retained the title of 'Professor Emeritus'. The UWE stripped her of the title three days after the tweet 'with immediate effect'. Bradley held a similar title at Bristol University, which was also withdrawn the same day.
Bradley has form when it comes to this sort of behaviour, having been accused of anti-Semitism more than once during Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. The Bristol councillor had the party whip suspended in 2019, before being reinstated and then standing down on health grounds a year later. She was expelled from the party in 2021.