Failure to prosecute far-right vandals for swastikas at MP’s office a ‘disgrace’

Failure to prosecute far-right vandals for swastikas at MP’s office a ‘disgrace’

Jewish leaders lay bare disappointment after Labour’s Paula Sherriff found Nazi symbols three times at her office

Paula Sherriff MP
Paula Sherriff MP

Jewish leaders in the UK have laid bare their disappointment at the decision not to prosecute far-right vandals who repeatedly left swastikas at the offices of an MP.

Labour’s Paula Sherriff, who represents Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, found foil swastikas at her constituency offices three times last summer.

However, despite the police investigation identifying the alleged perpetrator, the Crown Prosecution Service said the test for a criminal offence had not been met.

Sherriff’s constituency neighbours that of slain Labour MP Jo Cox, who was stabbed to death by a far-right extremist in the run-up to the Brexit referendum.

This weekend Sherriff said it was “an absolute disgrace” that the CPS could not prosecute, adding that she had “no faith” in the power of the law.

Gerry Wareham, chief prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “We considered this case carefully but the evidential test was not met to prove a criminal offence so we could not prosecute.” He added that the suspect was issued with a harassment warning.

Jewish leaders were less-than-impressed. “Leaving swastikas outside an MP’s office on at least three occasions is quite clearly a serious and chilling offence,” said Board of Deputies’ president Marie van der Zyl.

“The individual should face the full force of the law. That this has not been taken up further by the police is deeply disturbing. We will be taking this up with the Crown Prosecution Service.”

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