The Labour Party has succeeded in standing Rachel Abbotts as a councillor in Derbyshire amid claims that the Party totally ignored a complaint that she had posted on Facebook that “the Jews declared war on Germany in 1933.” Despite the complaint being passed to the local MP, Ruth George, the national Labour Party said that it had no record of a complaint and the local Labour Party said that the post was not antisemitic because Cllr Abbotts had shared it without commenting on it.
According to the JC, Cllr Abbotts posted the neo-Nazi material in 2016 as she took part in a discussion on Facebook with her partner, Mark Abbotts. He had told another person that: “people seem to forget that it was the Jews who declared war on Germany”, before attempting to share a link to back up his claim. When he could not share it, he wrote that: “Hitler stated that no-one will ever ask the victors if they told the truth…and its [sic] probably isn’t available, the truth apparently rarely is, but its [sic] still true…”
Cllr Abbotts then reportedly shared a screenshot of the article that her partner appeared to be referring to, an article republished on a website called “Wintersonnenwende”, which attempts to rehabilitate the image of Hitler and the Nazi regime.
According to Wintersonnewende, the article was originally published on The Barnes Review, a website the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “one of the most virulent antisemitic organisations around…dedicated to historical revisionism and Holocaust denial.” The article put the words “The Holocaust” in quotation marks and claimed that “Jewish leaders, in combination with powerful international Jewish financial interests” boycotted Germany “for the express purpose” of crippling the economy to bring down the Nazis. It added that Jewish people “effectively fired the first shot in the Second World War.”
It also claimed that the Nazis never planned to exterminate Jews and that the deportation of German Jews to the East was in response to “the leadership of the world Jewish community [having] formally declared war on Germany…the German authorities thus deemed Jews to be potential enemy agents.”
Complaints about the material Cllr Abbotts shared online were sent to local Labour MP Ruth George and in February she said that she had passed it on to the local and national Labour Party, according to the JC. The Party’s complaints unit, however, claimed to have no record of receiving the material and is now investigating “urgently”. Ms George herself was implicated in antisemitism and was forced to apologise in February after she suggested that the MPs who quit Labour to set up Change UK due to antisemitism may have been “financially backed” by Israel.
Fiona Sloman, who chairs the High Peak Constituency Labour Party, told the JC that the local Party became aware of the matter in February but stressed that “sole responsibility for investigating such matters lies with the national Labour Party.” The local Party met to re-examine Cllr Abbotts’ nomination for the council but found “no evidence of antisemitism on Rachel’s part”, she added, saying Cllr Abbotts had shared the article without commenting on it.
Cllr Abbotts was elected a Labour councillor on High Peak Borough Council in Derbyshire in the local elections last week, giving Labour a majority of just one seat.
In response to the exposé, Cllr Abbotts posted on Facebook that she was “deeply and sincerely sorry” for what happened. She claimed that she shared the article to dispute and not support her partner’s argument, saying there were “serious health issues” affecting both her and her partner, who “after talking it through, realised [his argument] was wrong.” Cllr Abbotts said this “in no way excuses what happened but I hope it provides some degree of context.” She said the suggestion Jewish people “declared war” on the Nazis was “an obviously wrong and clearly antisemitic claim.”
This is further proof that the Labour Party is institutionally antisemitic.
Another Derbyshire activist was implicated in the Labour antisemitic crisis recently. The Jewish News reported that Kasey Carver, who was photographed with convicted Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz, stood for Labour for the St John’s Ward in High Peak but failed to win a seat.
Ms Chabloz was convicted of criminal offences in relation to songs mocking Holocaust survivors and claiming that the Holocaust was a Jewish fraud. She was convicted in the first case of its kind, following a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which the Crown eventually agreed to take over. She appealed the decision in the Crown Court and the conviction was upheld in February this year, setting a new precedent. Ms Carver, a committee member of Glossop Labour Club, was reported to the Party’s Governance and Legal Unit, as confirmed by local MP Ruth George a year ago. Ms Carver reportedly organised fundraising events with the group Glossop for Kids in Gaza which were attended by Ms Chabloz. A photograph from 2014 shared by Glossop for Kids in Gaza shows Ms Carver with Ms Chabloz and other activists holding up a Palestinian flag at an event. The photograph appears on Ms Chabloz’s Facebook page. Ms Carver told the Jewish News that: “I ran those benefits and [Chabloz] sang in one of them and that’s the photograph you refer to. She came to those benefits often. Then she left the area and then it came to our attention [in 2016] that some of the stuff she was putting out was outrageous antisemitism.”
Screenshots of deleted Facebook posts sent from Carver’s personal account have been widely circulated online. A Facebook post from 2015 linked back to a blog post published on the website “Semitic Controversies”, above which Ms Carver commented: “Just looked at the potentially Zionist influence of the BBC.” Another deleted post linked to a story published in “Global Research CA”, which suggested that Israel backs ISIS. The post read that: “Various indications of Israel support for ISIS in the past but this is looking more convincing. If true, just shows what a mixed up and morally reprehensible mess that has been created in Syria.” Ms Carver told the Jewish News: “I regret that and I have been to antisemitism training then and I am very much more aware of the sensitivity of the [BBC] post and I have apologised.” She added that she had not intended to promote the view that Israel backs ISIS. She added “Our branch has been put on antisemitism training to make people more aware.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has begun pre-enforcement proceedings against the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. The pre-enforcement proceedings are a precursor to opening a full statutory investigation.
In recent months, eleven MPs have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with numerous councillors and members.
Over 50,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.