The Labour Party has called on the Conservatives to drop a candidate being investigated for alleged antisemitism.
The Conservative candidate for Hastings and Rye, Sally-Ann Hart, is reported to have shared a video in 2017 suggesting the Jewish philanthropist George Soros controls the European Union and liked a comment that read “Ein Reich” – a Nazi slogan.
The Conservatives opened a second investigation into Hart over alleged Islamophobia, the Guardian reported on Wednesday. The candidate standing in Amber Rudd’s former seat also faced strong criticism for telling a hustings last week that some people with learning difficulties “don’t understand about money.”
Naz Shah, Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister who apologised in 2016 for antisemitic language used in a Facebook post, called on the Conservatives to drop Hart.
She said: “The Conservatives are refusing to take action against a candidate who has peddled disgusting Islamophobia, homophobia and antisemitism, and has argued that disabled people should be paid less than the minimum wage. She has made no public apology.
“No one who promotes this prejudice and spreads these vile far-right conspiracy theories is fit to be an MP.
“Boris Johnson has claimed that Conservative members who do this sort of thing are ‘out first bounce’. So it defies belief that Sally-Ann Hart was selected as a candidate in the first place, and it is shameful that Boris Johnson is now refusing to take action.”
Responding to the criticism, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: “Sally Ann Hart is under investigation and these comments will form part of that investigation.
“Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one but there are a wide range of sanctions to challenge and change behaviour, including conditions to undertake training, periods of suspension and expulsion, and these are applied on a case-by-case basis.”