NEALE Hanvey MP has defended his election to the SNP’s disciplinary board one year after his suspension over antisemitic posts.

The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP’s entry to the party’s internal conduct committee last weekend has been attacked by political opponents and described by one unnamed SNP source in The Herald as “not a good look”.

The former councillor was readmitted to the party six months ago after completing a course at a Holocaust centre and meeting with leaders from Scotland’s Jewish community to apologise for social media posts uncovered during the 2019 general election campaign.

Hanvey was reported to the party for sharing an article featuring a caricature of billionaire businessman George Soros as a puppet-master and another drawing parallels between the contemporary treatment of Palestinians and that of the Jewish people in the Second World War.

The posts had been made three years earlier and Hanvey said he had not given “consideration” to Soros’ faith or understood the internationally-recognised definition of antisemitism. Issuing an “unequivocal apology”, he stated: “I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused. Whilst that was not my intention, that was the effect and I accept full responsibility for this serious misjudgement.”

Re-entering the SNP, he thanked the Antisemitism Policy Trust for their “engagement and guidance”.

But, attacking his new National Executive Committee role, Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “The SNP’s conduct committee now includes someone investigated and suspended by the party for using antisemitic language. His grovelling apology for making unacceptable comments was as welcome as it was necessary. Serious questions remain if he’s fit to investigate other people’s conduct when he’s only just finished his own suspension.”

Responding, Hanvey told The National: “I have always accepted full responsibility for my error in judgement in 2016, for which I have sincerely, and unreservedly, apologised. I was duly sanctioned for this by my party and complied with those terms without complaint.

“I have earnestly sought to atone for my error and have subsequently been commended by the Jewish community for the positive way in which I have dealt with the matter. The support and subsequent recognition I received from Danny Stone, CEO of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, and Andrew Percy MP, co-chair of the APPG [all-party parliamentary group] on antisemitism, has been warm, generous and humbling.

“I am currently engaging with the Jewish Leadership Council to support their work in better informing political discourse, and it is my hope that by drawing on my professional experience and the learning from my recent challenges, I can support members deal sensitively with such issues. I would suggest the conduct committee can provide more than just a reactive service, and there is scope for their work to take a lead for member development in this area.”