Antisemitism in Political Parties

Andrew Bridgen

2010 – present: Conservative Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire

Incidents

1. In a House of Commons debate on 13th October 2014 entitled “…this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel,” Mr Bridgen suggested that “the political system of the world’s superpower and our great ally the United States is very susceptible to well-funded powerful lobbying groups and the power of the Jewish lobby in America”.

Analysis

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis is that Mr Bridgen’s actions amount to breaches of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

By referring to “the power of the Jewish lobby”, he was deploying a trope regarding the hidden power of diaspora Jews acting in the interests of a foreign power within the countries in which they live. In doing so, he was “making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions”, as well as accusing them of “being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” 

Outcome

On October 14th 2014, it was reported that Mr Bridgen stood by his remark, saying: “I used the language that I recall was used to me. I see this issue as a huge problem and I am certainly not antisemitic and if push comes to shove I have historically sided with the Israelis on matters debated in our chamber.”

It was reported that numerous figures within the Jewish community had criticised the Conservative Party’s failure to comment on the matter at that time.

It is unknown whether any disciplinary process was instigated against Mr Bridgen by the Conservative Party.

In November 2019 we put this matter to Mr Bridgen but did not receive a response.

In November 2019 we put this matter to the Conservative Party but did not receive a response.

Rating

Campaign Against Antisemitism has rated the Party’s handling of this matter as “bad”. Our rating system is explained in our methodology. This case was last updated on 4th December 2019.

Justice, justice, you shall pursue - צדק צדק תרדף
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