On 28th November 2019, Mr Short’s comments were revealed by the anti-Brexit activist website Scram News. It was further reported that he had said: “I apologise unreservedly for this Tweet of 6 years ago. I admit I was ignorant of the offence that could be caused by what I said regarding Melanie Phillips, but I realise how inappropriate it was, it was wrong and I fully apologise.” On 30th November 2019, Scram News noted that, earlier that week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had told the Evening Standard: “Obviously whenever we have an incident of anti-Semitism [sic] or Islamophobia or whatever in the Conservative Party, we take a zero-tolerance approach…We have a one-bounce-and-we-deal-with-it approach to this.” Scram News reported that they had contacted the Conservative Party, asking if it would be taking any form of disciplinary action against Mr Short, and whether it would be suspending him as its candidate, but noted that they had not received a response at the time of publication. It was further noted that Mr Short had locked his Twitter account and deleted the cited tweets.
On 7th December 2019, it was reported that the Conservative Party was investigating Mr Short. The Party issued a statement which said: “Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong, and the Conservative party takes decisive action to deal with any incidents of hatred, abuse or intimidation. We are committed to stamping out the scourge of antisemitism in our society and supporting our Jewish community. Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one but there are a wide range of sanctions to challenge and change behaviour, including conditions to undertake training, periods of suspension and expulsion, and these are applied on a case-by-case basis.”
Mr Short stood as the Conservative candidate for St Helens South and Whiston on 12th December 2019, but was not elected.
As of 13th May 2020, it is not known whether the investigation against Mr Short has concluded.
In November 2019 we put this matter to Mr Short but did not receive a response.
In November 2019 we put this matter to the Conservative Party. A spokesman said: “This matter is under investigation”.