The GMB-branded banner featured an antisemitic image of Ebenezer Scrooge

Trade union the GMB has issued an apology for the use of an antisemitic image on one of its banners.

The banner was held up in front of campaigners picketing the Homerton Hospital for a more generous settlement for outsourced workers employed through facilities giant ISS.

It is understood that, following a complaint flagging the depiction of Ebenezer Scrooge on the banner as an antisemitic stereotype, the union swiftly made a personal apology and took action to have the image removed by notifying all outlets that used it, having recognised the error.

The Mayor of Hackney has apologised for attending the protest in support of cleaners without spotting the antisemitic nature of the cartoon, which was purchased from Getty Images, as has this newspaper for republishing the image without challenge.

A spokesperson for the GMB said: “We have apologised for using this character on our banner and not spotting it. We have issued a personal apology to the individual for the image on the banner and taken it down.”

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: “I’m pleased the GMB has apologised and acted swiftly after concerns were raised regarding the image of Scrooge on their banner. I am sorry for not spotting this myself. We all need to be better at recognising antisemitic images such as this.”

The Hackney Citizen said: “We originally published this image in a featured photograph as part of our coverage of protests at the Homerton Hospital. We are sorry for failing to notice the antisemitic imagery and for the offence caused by its republication.”

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