The Campaign Against Antisemitism has called for the Conservative Party to “take immediate action” against Richard Short, the Tory candidate exposed by Scram News earlier this week as having made anti-Semitic remarks.
In 2013, posting on Twitter, Short questioned the “allegiance” of journalist Melanie Phillips to the UK, agreeing with another Twitter user that “her allegiance is greater to Israel”. He added: “She almost has to declare an interest”.
A spokesperson from the Campaign Against Antisemitism told Scram News:
“The charge of dual loyalty and disloyalty is among the most widely held anti-Semitic slurs and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
“Under the International Definition of Antisemitism, adopted by the British government, ‘Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations’ is anti-Semitic. We expect the Conservative Party to take immediate action.”
Earlier this week, Short, the party’s candidate for St Helens South and Whiston, said: “I apologise unreservedly for this Tweet of 6 years ago. I admit I was ignorant of the offence that could be caused by what I said regarding Melanie Phillips, but I realise how inappropriate it was, it was wrong and I fully apologise.”
His response failed to address additional remarks that he had made about “chavs” and “benefits scroungers”.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson told the Evening Standard: “Obviously whenever we have an incident of anti-Semitism or Islamophobia or whatever in the Conservative Party, we take a zero-tolerance approach. […] We have a one bounce and we deal with it approach to this.”
And, in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, Tory cabinet minister Robert Jenrick reflected these remarks. He said the Conservative Party must have “zero tolerance to racism and anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in all its forms”. He pointed to the suspension of Tory candidates in Aberdeen North and Leeds North East after they were found to have made “completely unacceptable statements”.
Scram News has contacted the Conservative Party asking if they will be taking any form of disciplinary action against Short, and if they will be suspending him as their candidate. At the time of publication, they had not responded.
Short has locked his Twitter account and deleted the cited tweets.