Sir Desmond Swayne was on the internet radio program to discuss coronavirus and the lockdown.
The Richie Allen Show has featured antisemites such as Alison Chabloz and Gilad Atzmon, conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett, who believes Israel was behind 9/11, and Holocaust deniers including Nicholas Kollerstrom. The host, who is considered a protégé of the antisemitic hate preacher and conspiracy theorist David Icke, has himself apparently questioned the number of Jews that were murdered in the Holocaust, telling Mr Kollerstrom that “there’s a big lie there somewhere, I don’t believe the numbers are anywhere near as great as they’re saying, you know…I’m with you with respect to the numbers and the way that it’s been exploited ever since.”
Sir Desmond also revealed on his website that he has also donated money to a campaign to support Piers Corbyn, the conspiracy theorist and anti-lockdown activist with a history of antisemitic comments who has also been connected to a grossly offensive pamphlet comparing the lockdown to Auschwitz. Sir Desmond also apparently suggested that he had been “tempted” to join an anti-lockdown protest in London led by Mr Corbyn and Mr Icke.
In a statement, the Conservative Party reportedly told the JC: “Desmond has apologised and been warned about his appearance with those who share views not fit for public life and his appearance on a radio station where these views are promoted.”
Sir Desmond tweeted on Thursday: “I have never expressed antisemitic sentiment and if I’d ever given comfort to antisemites I’d be mortified. I do wonder what I’m going to be accused of next.”
Following complaints from Campaign Against Antisemitism and others, he has since added: “I was not aware of the history of this show and had I known my appearance on it would have offended the Jewish community, I would not have appeared on it. I apologise for any offence given.”
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.