Below is an extract from the new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Electoral Conduct, commission by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Against Anti-semitism – it details all the instances of racism expressed by or suffered by candidates of each of the largest parties contesting this year’s local and general elections.
It’s evident that no party is entirely free of these poisonous views – but, troublingly, the extract also makes clear that the Labour Party seems to have a particularly sizeable problem, especially in terms of anti-semitism.
Abdul Zaman, the Deputy Chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, was suspended after making inappropriate comments about Jews and women at the launch of a local election campaign. Mr Zaman urged his community to vote for local candidate Sajid Akhtar “so that the Jews and Christians know that we are one Biradari”. He was later reinstated after the party’s disciplinary body decided that his comments were not antisemitic, though unhelpfully open to interpretation.
Another Conservative council candidate, Obaid Khan, was suspended from the party but remained on the ballot paper after antisemitic tweets he had posted were discovered shortly before the local council elections (but after the nomination deadline had passed). Mr. Khan, who ran for the ‘winnable’ council seat of Hall Green, had referred to ‘Jew agents’ and ‘atheists’ as terms of abuse in his posts. Situations where parties cannot remove candidates who allegedly, or in fact, commit offences had, as noted, previously been marked as a point of concern in the electoral conduct inquiry of 2013.