Tory minister Greg Hands disgraced himself today on Twitter with a vile comment against Labour’s decisive action in suspending Labour MP Ivan Lewis following allegations of sexual harassment.
He subsequently deleted the tweet, but not quickly enough:
The deletion was followed by this tweet:
‘Carelessly worded’? ‘Not meant to cause offence’? It’s hard to imagine a universe in which it wouldn’t look offensive.
Mr Hands not only made an unfounded antisemitism smear against Labour, but also defamed Labour MP Emma Dent Coad with a racism smear over misquoted seven-year-old comments that black activists have defended. ‘Careless’ is not the word that springs to mind.
Hands’ disgraceful behaviour required him to be extremely selective. The Jewish Ivan Lewis has been suspended – rightly so, and you can bet that Hands and his party would accuse Labour of not acting properly if he had not been.
But the non-Jewish (as far as is known) Kelvin Hopkins was also suspended – over allegations he denies, where Ivan Lewis has already issued a mea culpa apologising for ‘unwelcome’ behaviour toward women.
Similarly, the non-Jewish (as far as is known) Jared O’Mara had the whip withdrawn over his behaviour toward women.
So to suggest – as Hands clearly did – that Ivan Lewis had been singled out or treated more harshly because he is Jewish is the vilest behaviour, because it damages the Jewish community by giving genuine antisemites an opportunity to use his smear to avoid responsibility for his own behaviour.
Deleting the tweet is not enough. Hands should also apologise to Jeremy Corbyn and Emma Dent Coad.
And then resign.
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