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ANTI-RACISTS called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take urgent action today against a Tory MP who appears to “move closely” with supporters of Adolf Hitler.
Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison was photographed with Andrew Foster, a well-known far-right activist in the local area, at a party she organised to celebrate Brexit on January 31.
The 26-year-old won the seat on a 17 per cent swing from Labour’s Helen Goodman in December 2019, and is a prominent face among the new intake of Tory MPs.
Mr Foster has attended rallies organised by the far-right street groups Britain First and the English Defence League, Hope Not Hate investigators revealed today.
A Twitter account allegedly belonging to Mr Foster wished Hitler a happy birthday, referring to him as a “great man”, while he appeared to comment on a photograph of the nazi leader on Facebook: “We need some more of this spirit in our town… show these f***ers once and for all.”
The group also unearthed Facebook pictures of Mr Foster burning a copy of the Quran, and posing next to a racist message that reads “F*CK P*KIS.”
Concerns have also been raised over Ms Davison’s contact with Colin Raine, a former Tory council candidate who organised a far-right protest in Bishop Auckland against Ms Goodman.
Mr Raine was responsible for making a string of islamophobic online remarks, in which he referred to Muslims as “muzzies” and said that “if it is a fight that [Muslims] want I fear they will soon get one.”
Hope Not Hate campaigns director Matthew McGregor said that both Mr Foster and Mr Raine “should be unwelcome at any mainstream political party gathering” but appear to “move closely” with the Conservative establishment in Bishop Auckland.
He said: “These allegations are extremely serious and warrant the Conservative Party launching an urgent investigation, during which time Dehenna Davison should be suspended until there has been a finding.
“The controversy surrounding these two men means that it is hard to believe that the local party did not know who they were.
“It is important for our politics generally, and the Conservatives specifically, that the party aggressively rejects any association with the far-right.”
Shadow equalities secretary Dawn Butler said it was “another example of the serious level of complacency towards the far-right by the Tory Party” and called for an urgent investigation.
She said: “The police have warned that the far-right are the fastest growing terrorist threat in the UK, yet we see the Tories proudly fraternising with open racists and neo-nazis.”
Labour’s Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols told the Morning Star: “All of us should be troubled by the number of people from the far-right who seem to think they’ve found a home in the Conservative Party.
“I worry the Tories have been spending the last few years courting the votes of people like this, with the kind of alt-right rhetoric that has been so central to their messaging, and that they will soon lose control of the nastiness they have unleashed.”
The Muslim Council of Britain’s Miqdaad Versi tweeted that Ms Davison was “the latest example added to the long-list” of islamophobia in the party.
Ms Davison told the HuffPost news website that she does not support Mr Foster or Mr Raine’s views.
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