Tories and anti-Semitism: who do you believe?

The desperate lows to which Tory spinners are stooping

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The fallout over my report last week on European Jewish concerns over the new Tory alliance with Michal Kaminski, has taken a very ugly turn. Something must have touched a nerve. The vast army of Tory cheerleaders, led by Conservative Home and Daniel Hannan , has jumped to the defence of Kaminski, the Polish former neo-Nazi and new leader of the Tories' group in Europe. It is one thing for them to defend the party they love, but quite another to go out of their way to defend a proven anti-Semite.

I have today learned that no fewer than six official Tory press officers have been on to the Yorkshire Post after it published an article on the "fascistic" Kaminski by the MEP formerly taking the Tory whip, Edward McMillan-Scott. The press officers are demanding that Kaminski is awarded a "right of reply"; an article written by himself in response. So, such is the strength of the Kaminski-Tory alliance, that the British party is now doing his PR.

The latest contorted smear tactic against McMillan-Scott is to say that he must himself be anti-Semitic because he advocates talking to Hamas. Really? Well according to reports, so does Barack Obama. Perhaps the Tory bloggers can tell us: is the President anti-Semitic, too?

Incidentally, I'll be revisiting the attitude of Obama's Administration towards the British Tories - not enhanced by the Kaminski affair the Tories know is so damaging - in the magazine out on Thursday.

But in the meantime, let me ask you this simple question: whose verdict on Kaminski do you believe? Desperate Tory bloggers, or the Chief Rabbi of Poland, the European Jewish Congress and one of London's leading Rabbis?

 

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.