A Labour Shadow Minister has apologised for sharing an “appalling image” containing an “antisemitic caricature” – after initially denying he had done so.
Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale and Labour’s Shadow Minister for Employment, shared a picture on Facebook in 2013, before becoming an MP, from a website called IlluminatiAgenda.com
It showed a hook-nosed, bearded, cackling man wearing a Father Christmas hat, rubbing his hands together, along with the words: “Remember to support the banks and corporations this Christmas in their continued efforts to enslave mankind, by spending money you haven’t got on things you don’t need…”
On Tuesday night, Mr Amesbury initially denied sharing the post, tweeting: “I did not send this vile nonsense and never would", and adding: “The profile picture is of me and my son when we as a family went to Barcelona in 2015, curious that this claims to be from 2013”.
He was apparently unaware that once someone changes their profile picture on Facebook, all their old posts change to show their current profile picture.
The MP deleted his tweet after it was pointed out to him that the post he had shared could still be seen on his own Facebook wall. The original post was also deleted.
Mr Amesbury then released a statement “apologising unreservedly for this terrible error".
“I apologise unreservedly for this terrible error. I genuinely don’t recall sharing this image and I’m mortified that I did so. This appalling image image contains an antisemitic caricature and a reference to the ‘illuminati’ conspiracy theory. I would never have intentionally shared antisemitic tropes and I am sincerely sorry that I did.”
The MP also said he had visited Auschwitz last year on a trip with the Holocaust Educational Trust.
“This moving experience reaffirmed my commitment to working with the Jewish community to increase education and awareness about antisemitism,” he said.