Two successful Conservative election candidates have separately disclosed that they faced antisemitic abuse during their general election campaigns.
Tom Tugenhat, the returned MP for Tonbridge and Malling in Kent and a prominent Tory backbencher, has said that he suffered “very un-Tonbridge” antisemitism during his campaign, lamenting that it had not been “as clean as previous campaigns”. With reference to online abuse, Mr Tugenhat said: “For the first time I faced antisemitism in this campaign, which I found particularly offensive and very surprising in a community like this and frankly rather distasteful. It was very un-Tonbridge, very un-Kent and very un-British.”
Meanwhile, across the country in High Peak in Derbyshire, newly elected MP Robert Largan has revealed that he encountered anti-Jewish sentiment on the campaign trail. In one instance, Labour activists told him that he had sold his soul and pledged his allegiance to Zion. Others asked if he “eats children”. In another instance, a constituent told him that he would not vote for him because “I don’t trust anything to do with the Jews.” Mr Largan commented: “Several people have said on the doorstep, ‘oh, you’re the Jewish guy aren’t you? Someone seems to be going around saying that I’m Jewish. It is bizarre because I’m not even Jewish. But members of the local Labour Party seem to think I am. Perhaps because I come from north Manchester, which has a high Jewish population, and I’ve been very vocal against antisemitism.”
Mr Largan defeated incumbent Labour MP Ruth George, who has been involved in two incidents of dissemination of antisemitic discourse, for which she has apologised.