‘Antisemitism scandal’ candidate triumphs for Conservatives at local elections

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

‘Antisemitism scandal’ candidate triumphs for Conservatives at local elections

Shakeel Hussain - who previously wrote of 'Zionist murderers' and 'so-called antisemtism' - was voted in as a councillor at the local elections in Stockton's Ropner ward

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Shakeel Hussain, far right, next to another local election candidate, and the local Stockton MP Matt Vickers, left
Shakeel Hussain, far right, next to another local election candidate, and the local Stockton MP Matt Vickers, left

A local election candidate at the centre of an antisemitism scandal has been voted in as a Conservative councillor on the Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council.

Shakeel Hussain triumphed in Thursday’s vote in the Ropner ward, despite newspaper reports about the emergence of Facebook posts in which he had written of “Zionist murders” and referred to  “so-called antisemitism”.

Jewish News also revealed earlier this month how Labour had dropped Hussain after carrying out due diligence on candidates for the party, and discovering his early inflammatory posts.

Days before last Thursday’s elections, the Conservatives issued a statement saying  Hussain could face an investigation by the party, adding he “would not be allowed to join the Conservative group on the council, if elected, until any investigations had been completed.”

But after Hussain’s election victory was confirmed Conservative Group leader appeared to praise him, and another candidate for their successes in the seat.

Tony Riordan, Stockton Conservative Group leader said:”Ropner is a really, really great win.

“The two councillors who won have worked their socks off. They know the issues, the residents are fed up with Labour, they complain about the same issues time after time.”

It meant the Tories took their tally from 16 to 23 on Stockton Council. Labour saw its seats reduced from 24 to 22, having lost overall control in 2019. But no party will now be able to gain the 29 seats needed to gain an overall majority on the 56-seat borough council.

Jewish News has learned that Hussain had actually applied to be a Labour candidate in this year’s local elections.

But after he was alerted to concerns about his posts he left to join the Tories.Historic posts seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service  under the name Shakeel Munir Hussain, showed him in November 2015 saying: “The world is slowly waking up and seeing through all the smugness of these Zionist murderers.”

One post from another user involved discussion about gold.

Another Facebook user asked “where’s it all gone?” and Mr Hussain replied “Isreal… bro to make more war”.

Another shared post from another user referred to ISIS saying “they don’t fire a single bullet at Israel”.

Meanwhile a post was also shared relating to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, featuring an explicit and violent cartoon appearing to show a Jewish caricature, with the poster referring to “so-called antisemitism” and commenting: “Say what you like about Islam… but speak against Zionism and get arrested!”

The account liked a comment from another Facebook user who referred to “Zionist Jews” as “cold blooded murders”

Campaigner against antisemitism Steve Cooke had also raised concerns about Hussain’s comments with a detailed post on Twitter.

Asked to comment on the posts Hussain told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’m not interested.”

One of Hussain’s Facebook posts

Days before the local election a Conservative spokesperson said:”“We do not support the views shared in these social media posts. It is too late to remove Mr Hussain from the ballot paper under electoral law, but he would not be allowed to join the Conservative group on the council, if elected, until any investigations had been completed.”

Labour sources called for Hussain to resign.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: