UPDATE: Lee Anderson and Sally-Ann Hart are now Conservative MPs
Three Conservative Party candidates are standing as Tory candidates while being investigated over antisemitism. – Including one who is alleged to have liked a Nazi slogan on Facebook.
Sally-Ann Hart is the Conservative candidate in the Tory / Labour marginal Hastings and Rye constituency where Amber Rudd has stood down.
In 2017 she shared a video with a conspiracy theory that the Jewish financier George Soros controlled the EU.
She then liked a comment under the video that used the Nazi slogan “Ein Reich”.
Hart also recently caused outrage by telling her constituents that people with learning disabilities “don’t understand money.”
Candidate Richard Short is the official Conservative Party candidate in St Helens South and Whiston, where Marrie Rimmer has been a Labour MP since 2015.
He is being investigated for questioning whether columnist Melanie Phillips’s allegiance is to the UK or Israel in a social media post.
As she appeared on BBC Question Time in 2013, he wrote: “Being a bit zionist is her allegiance to UK or Israel.”
Lee Anderson is the party’s official candidate in the Labour/Conservative marginal seat of Ashfield, Nottinghamshire and alleged to be an active member of a Facebook group where George Soros conspiracies are promoted. His is a member of the Ashfield Backs Boris Facebook group where there are comments such as this one about transparency campaigner Gina Miller: “Gina Singh needs to keep her Soros-backed nose out.”
The Conservative Party confirmed in a statement that the candidates are under investigation.
They said: “These matters are being investigated. Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong, and the Conservative Party takes decisive action to deal with any incidents of hatred, abuse or intimidation.
“Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one, but there are a wide range of sanctions to challenge and change behaviour, including conditions to undertake training, periods of suspension and expulsion, and these are applied on a case-by-case basis.”
Yet the candidates are still standing for election.
Under Labour’s antisemitism rules the candidates would have been suspended, and likely Boris Johnson would be too
A Jewish Board of Deputies spokesperson told in The Guardian: “We expect the Conservative Party, which has been clear about its abhorrence of antisemitism, to act extremely rapidly to investigate these allegations and immediately expel those found guilty of expressing antisemitic sentiments.”
Labour has called for the candidates to be suspended, insisting that Tory party leader Boris Johnson “must answer for the antisemitism being promoted in his name”.
Under rules brought in under Jeremy Corbyn – who the Conservative Party leader has repeatedly accused of not doing enough to stop antisemitism – the candidates would likely have been suspended while investigated had they been Labour MPs
Boris Johnson himself would have been suspended and investigated if he was a Labour party MP for comments unearthed from Johnson’s 2004 comedy novel Seventy-Two Virgins: A Comedy of Errors, where there are accusations that oligarchs“of Jewish origin” run the media and are able to fiddle a vote. This antisemitic meme likely contravene the definition of antisemitism adopted by the Labour Party.
In Johnson’s novel which he penned while a Tory MP, mixed race people are also called “half-caste”; travellers described as “pikeys”; someone is “stupid because he is a coon” and a traffic warden working in Westminster as a “hunter-gatherer” because he is an African immigrant, as well as the use of the “n” word.
Former Conservative Party Chair Baroness Warsi recently warned Johnson’s racist and homophobic words “have consequences” and “are not fitting for a Prime Minister of this country.”