High Peak councillor is ‘sorry’ over anti-Jewish post

Rachel Abbotts, pictured with MP Ruth George.
Rachel Abbotts, pictured with MP Ruth George.

A High Peak Labour councillor who was elected just last week has apologised for posting a screenshot of an article on social media which claimed the Jewish community ‘declared war’ on Nazi Germany in 1933.

After Rachel Abbotts won a seat in the Howard Town Ward on High Peak Borough Council last week, images have been circulated online of a 2016 Facebook discussion between her partner and an ‘acquaintance’.

During the discussion her partner Mark Abbotts tried unsuccessfully to share the article then posted a comment which read (SIC): “Hitler stated that no-one will ever ask the victors if they told the truth… and its probably isn’t available, the truth apparently rarely is, but its still true…”

READ MORE: High Peak Labour branded ‘rotten’ over anti-Semitic social media posts

Ms Abbots then posted a screenshot of the article reputedly from The Barnes Review - a renowned anti-Semitic publication.

The article claimed that Jews ‘effectively fired the first shot in the Second World War’ when in 1933 Jewish leaders attempted to bring down the German economy by ordering a worldwide boycott of German goods.

Ms Abbots has now published an online apology on Twitter and Facebook.

In it she claims she posted the link to the ‘anti-Semitic’ article to show partner Mark Abbotts the ‘abhorrent contents of that article’ were wrong.

She tells how her partner had ‘just been diagnosed with a serious health issue’ and had ‘used an argument he had heard which he did not understand but, after talking through, he realised that he was wrong’.

Following this week’s revelations Conservative High Peak parliamentary candidate Robert Largan has called on Labour’s National Executive Committee to ‘step in’.

High Peak Labour Party Chairman Fiona Sloman said the constituency Labour Party first became aware of the allegations against Rachel in February 2019.

Speaking about the article Rachel had shared, she said: “She did not comment on the article nor on any part of their dispute.

“In view of this the interview panel members rightly concluded there was no basis in fact for reconsidering the selection of Rachel Abbotts as a local election candidate.”

A spokesperson for Ruth George MP said: “Ruth George’s office received a complaint earlier this year regarding an exchange on Facebook in 2016.

“The complaint was referred on to the Labour Party’s complaints unit so that it could be fully investigated and taken through due process.”