Back during the closing days of the General Election in December 2019, the Conservative Party announced that it was commencing investigations into alleged antisemitism on the part of three parliamentary candidates – Sally-Ann Hart, Lee Anderson and Richard Short – two of whom won their seats.
Only some of the allegations were reported at the time; others are still unknown.
However, the investigations, during which the subjects were not suspended from the Party, have now taken over eight months, and there is still no indication of when the investigations might be concluded.
The Conservative Party confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism several weeks ago that the investigation into Lee Anderson had concluded and that a panel had delivered a judgment, but the allegations and decision have not yet been publicly revealed. The other MP subject to investigation, Sally-Ann Hart, recently claimed in an interview that a panel investigation relating to her had also been concluded and that she had attended social media training, but there has been no public announcement.
In the absence of any public disclosures by the Party, as far as we are concerned both matters – in addition to the investigation of Richard Short – are still open until the public is verifiably informed otherwise.
It is completely unacceptable for these investigations to be taking so long, with no end in sight. The conclusion that the Conservatives announced the investigations to avoid bad publicity during the General Election campaign but have not actually initiated the investigations at all or have otherwise not taken them seriously is becoming increasingly unavoidable.
Ironically, since not all of the allegations have been made public, their gravity cannot be assessed, leaving the Party’s procedural failures in the spotlight.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Following contact with the Conservatives, it is becoming clear that the Party is unserious about the three antisemitism investigations it is carrying out in relation to two sitting MPs and one parliamentary candidate.
“These were investigations that the Party reassuringly announced at the end of last year, in some cases before the allegations were even known to the public. But there is no justification for these investigations to have taken eight months with still no end in sight. These are not murder investigations, and by delaying for so long the Party risks making its poor procedures, rather than the allegations themselves, the real story.
“Any further delays are unacceptable, and we call on the Conservative Party to conclude these investigations immediately and publish the results.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.