Shadow minister apologises ‘unreservedly’ for sharing antisemitic caricature
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Shadow minister apologises ‘unreservedly’ for sharing antisemitic caricature

Mike Amesbury shared a cartoon of a bearded, jeering hook-nosed Father Christmas from a conspiracy website

The antisemitic cartoon shared by Mike Amesbury
The antisemitic cartoon shared by Mike Amesbury

Shadow Minister for employment Mike Amesbury has apologised “unreservedly” for sharing an antisemitic caricature from a conspiracy website.

The MP shared a cartoon on Facebook in 2013 of a bearded, jeering hook-nosed Father Christmas from a website called IlluminatiAgenda.com.

The post, which was reported by blogger and Israel activist David Collier, also contained the words: “Remember to support the banks and corporations this Christmas in their continued efforts to enslave mankind, by spending money you haven’t got on things you don’t need.”

Initially, Amesbury denied sharing the post, writing in a since-deleted post on Tuesday evening: “I did not send this vile nonsense and never would.

“The profile picture is of me and my son when we as a family went to Barcelona in 2015, curious that this claims to be from 2013”.

But this morning, Amesbury issued an apology, writing: “I apologise unreservedly for this terrible error. I genuinely don’t recall sharing this image and I’m mortified that I did so.

“This appalling image contains an antisemitic caricature and a reference to the “illuminati” conspiracy theory. I would never have intentionally shared such antisemitic tropes and I am sincerely sorry that I did.”

In his apology, the MP also said his visit to Auschwitz with the Holocaust Education Trust and schools from his constituency “reaffirmed” his commitment to fighting antisemitism.

Following Amesbury’s apology, Collier tweeted: “The danger is that antisemitism is entering the mainstream- becoming normalised – and Mike’s post is evidence of that. The point that something so vile no longer registers in the way it should.

“This isn’t a witch hunt, this is a fight against antisemites. One post, one tweet is a breadcrumb – nothing more.  That is the way these things must be seen

“I hope Mike takes this as a lesson of how normalised this has become, how far this virus is spreading and he works with others to eradicate this disease from his party sand wider society.”

Amesbury met with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) on Wednesday, writing on Twitter: “I wanted Marc to pass on my most sincere apologies to the whole of the Jewish community for my regrettable error.”

He said that he will be personally apologising to the Community Security Trust, the JLC and Holocaust Educational Trust, adding: “I once again reiterate my condemnation of antisemitism in any form and stand in solidarity with the Jewish community through this difficult time.”

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