The Liberal Democrats have quickly moved to drop a prospective mayoral candidate after her past antisemitism was revealed.
Last week, the Party announced that Geeta Sidhu-Robb and Cllr Luisa Porrit would vie for the Party’s nomination for the London mayoralty.
However, video has now emerged of Ms Sidhu-Robb, who is a millionaire businesswoman, former corporate lawyer and “juice diet” entrepreneur, making antisemitic statements in her 1997 General Election campaign as a Conservative candidate standing against Jack Straw.
In the video, Ms Sidhu-Robb is seen saying: “The Labour Party is going around with a microphone at the moment saying ‘she’s against Islam, she’s not Muslim, she’s not one of us: don’t vote for her because she’s against Islam.’ And this is making it racist, it’s making it personal, particularly considering the fact that my husband actually is Muslim. So, we’re just going to pull the gloves off. I’m going to get a car and walk around, drive through town telling everybody Jack Straw’s a Jew. How’s a Muslim going to vote for someone who’s Jewish? That’s it. That’s what happened and that’s what we’re going to do about it.”
The footage then shows the car driving around the neighbourhood with a voice through a megaphone saying: “Don’t vote for a Jew, Jack Straw is a Jew”, “If you vote for him you’re voting for a Jew”, and “Jews are the enemy of Muslims”.
Later in the video, Ms Sidhu-Robb claimed that she had acted because she was “furious” but had regretted doing it. She said: “I didn’t want racism and bigotry to play a part in anything that I had anything to do with,” she said. “I object strenuously to it. I did it because I was furious. So, I must admit I wish I hadn’t done it.”
Ms Sidhu-Robb went on to lose the election to Mr Straw and eventually left the Conservative Party and joined the Liberal Democrats.
After the video was unearthed, Ms Sidhu-Robb has reportedly reiterated that she deeply regretted her “appalling behaviour”.
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson reportedly said: “The Liberal Democrats take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously. A complaint has been received by the party and will be actioned in accordance with our processes.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “While Ms Geeta Sidhu-Robb claimed to have been subject to unacceptable racist political campaigning in 1997, she was absolutely wrong to respond by indulging in antisemitism and, worse still, encouraging it among voters. It was right that she recognised at the time that she was wrong to do it, and she is right to reiterate that apology now. Even so, the Liberal Democrats are also right to recognise that she cannot possibly stand as the Party’s candidate for the London mayoralty following these revelations, and the Party’s investigation should determine what further steps are needed to verify whether she is fit to remain a member.”
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.