Tory candidate demands public response from Ruth George MP over anti-Semitism row

Ruth George, MP for the High Peak
Ruth George, MP for the High Peak

High Peak Conservative candidate Robert Largan has called on MP Ruth George to publicly respond to a letter asking her to specify what steps she took in dealing with a Labour councillor who posted anti-Semitic material on Facebook.

Mr Largan wrote how Ms George’s silence over the letter - written by Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) chair Mike Katz - was ‘deafening’.

Mr Katz’ letter came after it emerged High Peak councillor Rachel Abbotts had posted on Facebook an article claiming the Jews had declared war on Germany in 1933.

He asked Ms George to provide proof that Labour Party head office had received an official complaint against Coun Abbotts and to ‘publicly support’ the investigation into Coun Abbotts’ ‘activity’.

Mr Largan said: “It’s been six weeks since the JLM wrote to Ruth George, condemning her behaviour over anti-Jewish racism, asking her to publicly respond. Ms George is still yet to do so.”

Ms George said (SIC): “I responded in full to the JLM in the week following their letter.

“They did not request for my reply to be made public, and in light of the personal health information necessitated by the response, it was not appropriate to be published.

“I was asked to publicly welcome the Labour’s Party’s investigation into a screenshot three years ago by a now Labour councillor. This I have done. I received a reference number for the investigation in March following my report of the incident at the end of February, so I know it was received.

“I responded in full to the requests made by the JLM. Their letter was based on inaccurate information which I sought to correct in my reply. The JLM have said they appreciated my response. They have not deemed it a priority to reply to me yet.”

However during a Facebook exchange, Mr Largan asked Ms George ‘where is your public statement welcoming the investigation into Councillor Rachel Abbotts?’

He wrote (SIC): “It isn’t on your website or your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Nor is there any online report of your statement.”

A spokesman for the MP said Ms George had ‘endorsed’ moves by High Peak Constituency Labour Party to include a separate Twitter discussion between Coun Abbotts and Rachel Riley in its ‘current investigation’. Responding to the Twitter row - during which Ms Riley accused Coun Abbotts of being a ‘holocaust revisionist’ - Ms George said: “I fully endorse the actions of High Peak CLP in asking for this incident to be taken into consideration as part of the current investigation.”