Tory suspended over Shoah posts withdraws from role leading local party

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Tory suspended over Shoah posts withdraws from role leading local party

Ryan Houghton, who was chosen to lead the group in Aberdeen, will not take up the position amid anger over previous statements relating to the Holocaust

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Ryan Houghton was dropped by the Tories in Aberdeen North and suspended by the party (screenshot from Twitter)
Ryan Houghton was dropped by the Tories in Aberdeen North and suspended by the party (screenshot from Twitter)

A Conservative councillor suspended and later reinstated over social media posts about the Holocaust has withdrawn his bid to be made leader of the party in Aberdeen.

Ryan Houghton was chosen by colleagues to lead the group at a meeting on Sunday, but objections had been raised as he had previously made controversial comments. 

In the run-up to the 2019 general election he was suspended as candidate for Aberdeen North after a series of extreme social media posts were uncovered by newspapers in Scotland. 

The suspension was lifted last June after he apologised for any hurt caused but insisted the comments were taken out of context.

Houghton had been suspended by the Tories over posts on a martial arts forum in which he suggested some events around the Nazi regime’s persecution and murder of six million Jews had been “fabricated”. He also praised as “interesting” research by Adolf Hitler apologist David Irving.

Lib Dem group leader Ian Yuill told the Aberdeen Evening Express: “We will not be supporting Mr Houghton’s nomination as co-leader as we believe he still has questions to answer over his comments from several years ago.”

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