Redbridge Tories accuse Jewish Labour by-election candidate of ‘anti-Semitism’ over Facebook posts
- Credit: Archant
A Labour council by-election candidate accused of making “anti-Semitic Facebook postings” by his Tory rivals said he is a “proud Jew” and the statements were taken out of context.
Redbridge Conservative leader Cllr Paul Canal called for Lloyd Duddridge, standing for Labour in the South Woodford seat of Roding, to be suspended on Friday over the alleged anti-Semitic posts.
But Mr Duddridge has revealed he is Jewish and attacked the Tories for treating the subject “as a game”.
Cllr Canal referenced two private comments which the 28-year-old wrote on the social network three years ago.
One says “The Daily Mail is full of stupid jews” and another refers to Lord Grade, a Conservative peer, as “another Jewish Tory”.
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Following Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal’s statement last week – that he backed permanently banning any anti-Semitic Labour member – Cllr Canal wrote a letter to him formally calling for Mr Duddridge’s suspension.
He said: “Cllr Athwal faces a clear choice. Pander to the growing tide of anti-Semitism within Labour ranks or keep his promise and stamp it out.”
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But Mr Duddridge, who claims the comments have been taken out of context, accused the Tory leader of trivialising anti-Semitism.
He said: “I am a proud Jew, brought up by two Jewish parents. I attended a Jewish school and play for a Jewish cricket club. I have had family members die in the Holocaust.
“I have fought anti-Semitism my whole life and have the bruises to prove it. Anti-Semitism is no game, it should not be treated as such.”
He added: “I will not take any lectures from people who aren’t Jewish about how I should tackle anti-Semitism.”
Cllr Athwal said: “Cllr Canal knows full well that Lloyd Duddridge is a Jewish candidate and that, by using anti-Semitism as a political football, they undermine efforts to deal with genuine incidents of anti-Semitism.”
Mr Duddridge told the Recorder he was “focusing on the election” but said after May 5 he would be “considering all legal avenues” against the Tories over their claims.
The Labour candidate is standing against Rich Clare for the Liberal Democrats, Ruth Clark for the Conservatives, Barry Cooper for the Green Party, Jon Seymour for Ukip and Marilyn Moore for the All People’s Party in May’s by-election.