Both the Labour and Conservative candidates in Birmingham’s Hall Green ward have been deselected by their parties after they both separately opined on social media about Jewish conspiracies.
The Conservative Party’s candidate, Obaid Khan, hit out at “Jew agents” and accusing a “Jewish lobby” of paying Twitter users he disagreed with. A Conservative spokesman told the Birmingham Mail: “He is no longer a member of the party. Views like that have no place in the party or our society.”
The Labour Party’s candidate, Alison Gove-Humphries, shared articles putting forward the conspiracy myths that Israel is the “key link in exporting ISIS oil” and that the “Israel lobby manufactured [the] UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis.” When criticised by other Labour councillors, she claimed that the allegations against her constituted “intrusion and misrepresentation” and said that she did not want to be “distracted by these hurtful allegations.”
The International Definition of Antisemitism states that “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is antisemitic.
Whilst Gove-Humphries has been replaced by another candidate, the Conservatives discovered Khan’s antisemitism too late and have had to withdraw from the election as the deadline for proposing new candidates had passed before he was deselected. Khan is no longer a member of the Conservative Party, but it is less unclear what action, if any, the Labour Party has taken against Gove-Humphries as a member.
It is utterly sickening that local politics in Birmingham Hall Green has been infested with antisemitism, with the local Conservative candidate obsessing about ‘Jewish agents’ and his Labour counterpart believing that antisemitism is a fabrication by a shadowy ‘Israel lobby’. We are pleased that on this occasion, both of the local Conservative and Labour parties have done the right thing and deselected their antisemitic candidates.