Labour picks member accused of antisemitism as local election candidate

EXCLUSIVE: Three candidates running for seats on a Devon council shared allegedly antisemitic material, raising doubts over vetting procedures


A Labour Party member has been picked to stand as a candidate in next month's local government elections despite being the subject of complaints over her seven year long record of posting openly antisemitic material on social media.

Virginia Keyes was exposed by Countdown presenter Rachel Riley only last month for repeatedly sharing extreme anti-Jewish material along with far-right 'new world order' conspiracy theories since 2012.

But the JC can reveal that Ms Keyes, who is known as 'Ginny',  was last Thursday confirmed as one of Labour's candidates to fight the May 2 elections for Torbay Council in Devon.

Labour sources confirmed on Sunday that Ms Keyes has now been suspended by the Party - but after the April 4 deadline for declaring candidates. 

Ms Keyes will still be permitted to run for election as a Labour candidate. 

She will be joined by at least two other candidates from Torbay Constituency Labour Party (CLP) who will be attempting to gain council seats next month having expressed views which could also be described as antisemitic - but which appear to have been overlooked by the Party.

Labour is facing allegations that poor vetting procedures and disciplinary processes have allowed countless other candidates who have expressed antisemitic views to stand across the country in next month's elections.

Among the countless inflammatory postings made by Ms Keyes, who stands in Torbay's Tormohun ward, was the sharing of a video made by far-right extremists claiming to show that "Zionist Jews" wanted to "destroy every non-Jew" and start Word War 3.

Ms Keyes, who is women's officer at Torbay CLP, also sung the praises of antisemitic conspiracy theorist David Icke - suggesting "much of what Icke has talked about for years continues to manifest as truth."

She also cast doubt on the need for Jewish MP Luciana Berger to require police protection at last September's Labour Conference writing of Jewish MPs: "Boy can they play dirty."

A further post goaded the British Jewish population to "stand up and be counted" by protesting against Israeli government actions "before it's too late".

She added: "Come on all you good Jewish...out on the streets ... it is not right that you should be persecuted but bombing and killing innocent children and civilians is not bloody right either".

On March 5 Ms Keyes wrote of the "fake antisemitism smears flying like confetti (sic)". 

On March 31, ahead of confirmation that Ms Keyes had been selected as a Labour candidate, Countdown presenter Ms Riley tweeted: "Why just 2 weeks ago did you choose this raving conspiracy theorist racist antisemite as a Labour candidate for the coming @Torbay_Council 2019 elections?!?!?".

Despite the damning catalogue of allegations against Ms Kenyes, official Torbay Council listings published last week confirmed her selection to fight the May 2 election as the Labour Party's representative.

Another candidate selected by Torbay CLP is Dani Passmore who will be fighting the Barton with Watcombe ward. 

Mr Passmore’s social media posts include several making false Rothschild conspiracy theory claims.

In one post he shares an antisemitic conspiracy theory around the supposed Rothschild financing of the Nazis,  the claim Israel "destroyed Palestine" and then "were behind 9/11 and the resulting wars".

Mr Passmore also defended Jeremy Corbyn against antisemitism allegations suggesting "anybody who opposes Zionism and capitalism.... are suddenly outed as evil antisemites".

Reflecting on the expulsion of Jackie Walker from Labour last month he wrote, "disgusting this" - and suggested Ms Walker had been "smeared due to her opposing Israel's cruel Apratheid policies against the semitic people of Palestine".

Meanwhile, standing in Torbay's Cockington with Chelston ward is Jack Critchlow who is also chair of the local party. Amongst his social media posts is the claim: ”At the general election no one will give a flying f**k about antisemitism”.

He then adds that the “comparatively irrelevant antisemitic issue is merely being used to undermine Corbyn".

Mr Crichlow suggests, "few people know or care" about "a load of bilge about antisemitism".

He also called for "every member of Labour, including MPs" who "supports this brutal Zionist Israeli government" to be "immediately suspended and required to justify their views".

In February, Torbay CLP was rocked by earlier allegations of antisemitism when Lesley Anne Perrin resigned from the party after being placed under investigation for posting Holocaust denial material onto social media.

Labour launched an investigation after Ms Perrin wrote of the Nazi Holocaust: “the REAL problem is the 6 million figure".

She also wrote of “documentary evidence” of the “House of Rothschild” goal of world domination. 

Her husband Terry, also a CLP officer, later resigned in solidarity.

It is understood the Labour will now also look into the conduct of Mr Passmore and Mr Critchlow before deciding whether to take action. 

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