Portsmouth Labour candidate ‘deeply regrets’ Twitter comments branded ‘anti-semitic’

Claire Udy has come under fire for comments she made on Twitter in 2013 Photo: Keith Woodland
Claire Udy has come under fire for comments she made on Twitter in 2013 Photo: Keith Woodland
Claire Udy

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A PROSPECTIVE Labour councillor has apologised ‘profusely’ for comments she made on Twitter which have been branded anti-semitic, admitting she ‘deeply regrets’ making them.

Claire Udy, who is battling to become a candidate in Charles Dickens ward, in Portsmouth, has come under fire for a tweet she made on her personal Twitter account in 2013.

Ms Udy’s tweet said: ‘Got a barely used travel system for baby that’s worth over £500 for £100 today also. Not even a Jew. Amazing.’

The comments have sparked a fiery debate on Facebook, with critics hitting out saying Ms Udy’s comments were ‘anti-semitic’.

In a statement to The News, Ms Udy said: ‘I deeply regret the comments I made on my Twitter account in 2013, and profusely apologise for any hurt or distress this may have caused.

‘These remarks were made before I joined the Labour Party or indeed ever contemplated standing for public office.

‘I have become more informed of the impact these views and words can have and hope I can prove through my actions they will never be repeated again.’

Her comments came to light after The News revealed the former acting secretary of Portsmouth Momentum, Ian Love, resigned over inflammatory comments he posted on social media.

The 64-year-old came under fire amid reports he called former Labour leader Tony Blair ‘Jewish to the core’ on Facebook, claiming the ex-prime minister was ‘protected’ by the Rothschild family, who he said ‘control all the money in the world’.

His statements were revealed during a national newspaper anti-semitism investigation into the Labour Party.

Tory city council boss Donna Jones said: ‘The councillors’ good code of conduct says people who stand for election should be upstanding members of the community.

‘Claire Udy needs to seriously question whether or not she remains a candidate in the local election in two weeks’ time.

‘Her comments are deeply offensive and have caused pain and harm in the Jewish community in Portsmouth.’

Councillor John Ferrett, a former leader of the city’s Labour group but who is now an independent councillor on Portsmouth City Council, was shocked by the news.

He said: ‘Labour are really tarnished by this now. There has to be a zero-tolerance policy put in place.

‘It would have been unimaginable that we would have had to deal with something like this when I was leading the party.

‘Clearly, if it had happened, someone would have been suspended straight away.

‘Let’s not beat around the bush, these statements are racist. Anyone making racist statements should be expelled.’

In a statement Portsmouth Labour Party did not say whether any action would be taken against Ms Udy.

But a spokesman said: ‘Portsmouth Labour Party’s executive are aware of social media posts from Ms Udy’s personal account, and following concerns raised, this has been reported to the national party.

‘Portsmouth Labour Party would like to reiterate that any form of anti-semitism or racism will not be tolerated in the party.

‘We are working hard to root out its corrosive impact on our society.’

Labour leader and Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan has today met with the Jewish community in the city’s synagogue to discuss how anti-semitism can be tackled in the Labour party and wider society.

Elsewhere, an investigation has been launched into claims a Hampshire university lecturer made anti-semitic social media posts.

Academic Jane Dipple of the University of Winchester, a member of the Labour party, is alleged to have made comments online about Jews and Zionism, as the Labour anti-semitism row continues to make the headlines.