Labour MP defends comments likening group to Nazi party and white supremacists
David Lammy has said comparing the hard Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs to Nazis and proponents of South African apartheid was not strong enough, and suggested that the Brexit debate has allowed proponents of hard right views to flourish.
The Labour MP, who is a vocal campaigner for a second EU referendum, was asked on the BBCs Andrew Marr Show whether a comparison he previously made to the election of Adolf Hitlers party in Germany and to South African white supremacists was appropriate.
I would say that that wasnt strong enough. In 1938 there were allies who hatched a plan for Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia, and Churchill said no, and he stood alone, he said.
Asked if it was fair to make such a comment about elected politicians, he said: I dont care how elected they were: so was the far right in Germany.
Lammy pointed to the contact between the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Donald Trumps former senior advisor Steve Bannon, as well as a tweet from the ERG chair, Jacob Rees-Mogg, quoting the Germanys far-right Alternative fr Deutschland party.
We must not appease. Let me just be clear, Im an ethnic minority. We have, in the ERG, in Jacob Rees-Mogg, someone who is happy to put on to his web pages the horrible, racist AfD party, a party thats Islamophobic and on the far right, he said.
Im sorry, but very, very seriously, of course we should not appease that, of course we should not appease that.
Rees-Mogg has defended his decision to tweet a video of a speech by a senior member of the AfD, saying he did not endorse the partys views but that the opinions expressed had real importance.
Rees-Mogg wrote in the original tweet: The AfD leader asks: Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?
Lammy said broadcasters including the BBC were allowing this extreme hard right fascism to flourish.
He said he was deeply concerned about the future of the country if Brexiters such as Rees-Mogg and Johnson took control of the Conservative party. What kind of country are we going to be like if these people are running it? he said.
Asked if he was saying that Rees-Mogg and Johnson were the modern-day equivalent of Nazis, Lammy said: Ask Boris Johnson why hes hanging out with Steve Bannon.
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