I am sorry not to be joining the hustings tonight at St Andrew’s Church, Oxshott. We’ve had five hustings so far, at which I have been subject to unsubstantiated and personal attacks by the independent candidate, Della Reynolds. This is part and parcel of politics. However, last week, Della likened the Conservative deficit reduction plan to the persecution of the Jews and other groups by the Nazis. When given the opportunity to apologise and retract the statement, she stood by her comparison. Her remarks were reported here.
When it was pointed out that this was particularly offensive to me, given my father fled the Nazis, she stated on a local discussion website: “Let us get a few facts straight. Dominic Raab’s father was Czech refugee who came to Britain in 1938. So, not immediately connected with the horrors of the holocaust”. You can read these remarks here. (For the record, my father fled to Britain with his parents via a refugee camp in Tangiers, and the rest of his family who didn’t escape, including his grandparents, perished.)
These unsavoury statements cross the line of decency in debate. I’m not prepared to have myself, my Party or my volunteers likened to Nazis. Without an apology, I am not willing to share a platform with Della. She is of course free to say what she likes. I am equally free not to be dragged into gutter politics.
I am only sorry not to have the chance to address those attending. I am hosting a public meeting on Tuesday at 7.30pm at Churchgate house in Cobham, and you would be very welcome. In addition, I would be only too happy to come down to speak to you individually or as a group in Oxshott next Monday or Wednesday evening. Please just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested, and I will make the arrangements.
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