Ryan Houghton, a Conservative councillor who was previously suspended over antisemitic Facebook posts which diminished the Holocaust, has withdrawn from his role as the next Leader of the Aberdeen Conservatives after complaints.
This comes less than one week after Mr Houghton agreed to take up the position.
In a post on a martial arts forum eight years ago, Mr Houghton wrote under the username, Razgriz, that there was “no credible evidence to suggest the Holocaust did not happen” but revealed that “I do find some of the events fabricated, and exegarated [sic] in some cases.” He continued: “As history is written by the victors there is always going to be a bit of re-writing.” He also praised the “interesting” research of the antisemitic Holocaust-denier, David Irving. However, in a later post he said that he was “not defending David’s Irving’s views” and that he does not agree with “some of the stuff he says.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is an example of antisemitism.
Mr Houghton is also accused of having made homophobic and anti-Muslim statements online. In a statement at the time, he said: “I apologise unreservedly for any hurt now caused by these comments and have been in contact with members of the Jewish community in Aberdeen.” Mr Houghton also said that he was a member of the Holocaust Education Trust, had visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and has “never held antisemitic or intolerant views.”
The Scottish Conservatives readmitted him last year, but apparently there was no further sanction or expectation for him to undertake antisemitism training.
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.