Lib Dem candidate sorry for ‘sick, inaccurate and offensive’ Goebbels comment

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Lib Dem candidate sorry for ‘sick, inaccurate and offensive’ Goebbels comment

North Shropshire by-election hopeful Helen Morgan compared policies of Home Secretary Priti Patel to that of the Nazi propaganda chief

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Helen Morgan, Joseph Goebbels and Priti Patel
Helen Morgan, Joseph Goebbels and Priti Patel

The Lib Dem candidate in the North Shropshire by-election was forced into a grovelling apology after she accused Priti Patel of using methods adopted by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels to clamp down on small boats.

Helen Morgan was responding to a tweet by the Home Secretary who said: “Today we removed people who came here via small boat.

“They had previously claimed asylum elsewhere and had no legal right to be in the UK.

“Removals continue to be frustrated by activist lawyers, but I will not let up until this route is unviable.”

The Lib Dem hopeful wrote:”I think we would all appreciate an explanation of the difference between a lawyer and an activist lawyer.

“In the meantime, please tear up your copy of Goebbels’ manual; it is most unbecoming of one of The Great Offices of State.”

Her comments sparked sparked a backlash last night.

Co-Chair of the APPG Against Antisemitism, Andrew Percy told The Sun: “Comparisons to the Nazis are not only sick, they are inaccurate, offensive and diminish the memory of the 6 million Jewish and other victims of the Nazi murder machine.

“Such throwaway comparisons undermine Holocaust education efforts and risk enabling antisemitism.

“The Lib Dems must act to take strong and immediate action against this candidate’s repeated use of these sick and disgusting comparisons.”

Morgan later said: “I apologise for this insensitive tweet which I have taken down.”

The North Shropshire seat has been held by the Conservatives since it’s creation. The by election on December 16 was called after Mp Owen Paterson’s resignation due to the lobbying scandal.

Internal polling by Labour suggests they are making in-roads into Tory support with the Lib Dem’s trailing in third place.

In 2019 Morgan had again resorted to Nazi comparisons over Boris Johnson’s attempt to prorogue parliament.

She added: “It’s what Hitler did in 1933… this is a shameless power grab by a right-wing elite.”

Then when writing about her son’s experience of reading The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, in which the son of the camp commandant befriends a Jewish boy on the other side of the fence, she appeared to liken the experience of Channel migrants to Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz.

Ms Morgan, who is trying to overturn a Tory majority of nearly 23,000, said in September 2020: ‘He commented that the Nazis were only able to do such terrible things because they didn’t think their victims were people. He’s 11.

“On Twitter this morning, there are people talking about cancelling their RNLI donations because they have picked up “illegals”.

“The language used every day in this country – by the Government, press and people with thousands of followers on social media – it’s nothing short of chilling. ”

In the same thread, she liked a tweet by an unidentified user who claimed: “Having visited Auschwitz concentration camp in the recent past.

“It really brings home man’s inhumanity to man. Now on a daily basis the language and actions of the Conservative Party make me more and more concerned about the direction they are taking the UK and its people.’

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