Suspended Peterborough Labour candidate denies anti-Semitism but admits sharing Holocaust hoax article was a ‘bad mistake’

Alan Bull
Alan Bull

A suspended Labour candidate in Peterborough has categorically refuted claims he is a Holocaust denier but accepted he should receive anti-Semitic training.

Alan Bull admitted he had made a “bad mistake with disastrous consequences” by sharing an article on his private Facebook account which suggested the Holocaust is a hoax.

Cllr Ed Murphy EMN-150329-201306009

Cllr Ed Murphy EMN-150329-201306009

But the former candidate for Stanground South in May’s city council elections said: “I have not denied the Holocaust at any time in my life.”

Mr Bull, who described himself as a “lifelong anti-racist,” said he had shared the post with his friends, without comment, to find out their views on the article, but that he was “ignorant of the fact that sharing this article, and some others, would be viewed as anti-Semitic.”

Mr Bull claimed a comment he had published underneath the article, where he said he was definitely not a Holocaust denier, had been removed when a screen shot of the post was sent to the media.

He said he had been “tried by the media and condemned without the due process” but he admitted he was “guilty of sharing material that is considered anti-Semitic” which was a “bad mistake with disastrous consequences.”

He also accepted that despite not being anti-Semitic: “I should receive anti-Semitic training” as advised by Baroness Chakrabarti, who published a report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

Labour’s council group leader Cllr Ed Murphy, who was part of the group which ratified Mr Bull as a candidate, told the PT it was for Labour’s compliance unit to investigate allegations against him.

He said: “We were aware some allegations had been made. It was my view a proper investigation should be carried out by compliance for them to decide by due process if any actions should be made against the individual.”

Cllr Murphy would not say how anybody in the group voted. Moreover, two Labour city councillors revealed they were being disciplined by the party after calling for Mr Bull not to stand in the elections.

Cllr Matthew Mahabadi and Cllr Richard Ferris wrote in the New Statesmen that they were being investigated by their fellow councillors for “bullying and intimidating behaviour” on social media.

The pair added: “You could not make it up.” The PT has attempted to contact the whip of the Labour group on the council for her response.

Timeline:

July 2017 - First complaints allegedly made to Labour about Mr Bull sharing an article on Facebook which suggests the Holocaust is a hoax.

February 15, 2018 - The PT exclusively reveals Mr Bull is standing for election in Stanground South and is being investigated for the Facebook post. Mr Bull says the post has been “doctored.”

March 22 - The Jewish Chronicle picks the story up and reveals Mr Bull has now been suspended and cannot stand for the party in the local elections.

March 28 - Christine Shawcroft, head of Labour’s disputes panel, resigns after sending an email calling for the reinstatement of Mr Bull. Mr Bull releases a statement denying anti-Semitism.

April 3 - Mr Bull again denies anti-Semitism but admits he made a “bad mistake” sharing the post.