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Holocaust Memorial Day

Part of Wuhan Coronavirus – in the House of Commons at 12:06 pm on 23rd January 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Percy Andrew Percy Conservative, Brigg and Goole 12:06 pm, 23rd January 2020

I entirely agree with the right hon. Gentleman. The indulgence of this Soros conspiracy theory—which I have heard from people in my own area, it has to be said—is completely unacceptable wherever it is found. It is racism, it is antisemitism, and it is an updated version of the tropes we saw in the 1930s. There are people who stood at the recent election who engaged in some of those theories. We must take people at their word when they apologise for that, and I would encourage anybody who has been guilty of that to work with us through the all-party group.

While there have been problems on both sides of politics, I do fear, sadly, that on the Labour Benches—some 30 of the party’s candidates at the recent election were accused of antisemitism—there is more work to be done to counter anti-Jewish racism. It is a real pleasure to co-chair the APPG with Catherine McKinnell, who has made it absolutely clear that she will be steadfast in calling out antisemitism and racism on her own Benches and within her own party, and that she will have no truck with those who talk about foreign Governments being inspired by Zionist masters, any kind of relativisation of the holocaust in respect of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or, indeed, pathetic antisemitic Beatles singalongs, which we have seen. As I have said previously, it brings shame on this country’s whole body politic that, sadly, this disgusting ideology has been at the heart of British politics and mainstreamed in recent years. When I was the Minister responding to such a debate a couple of years ago, I spoke about the Israelification of antisemitism, which we have seen in recent years.