Tory candidate for Aberdeen North dropped over anti-Semitic comments


Ryan Houghton

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Ryan Houghton has been suspended by the Conservative Party

A Conservative party election candidate has been suspended over alleged anti-Semitic comments he made seven years ago.

Ryan Houghton, who was standing in the Aberdeen North constituency, confirmed his suspension on Monday after The National published the allegations.

He said the party had withdrawn support for his campaign while an investigation took place.

The Scottish Conservatives said the comments made were “unacceptable”.

Mr Houghton released a statement on his Twitter feed, saying the comments were taken “out of context”.

He said: “At the age of 20 on an online forum, I took part in a range of political discussions. These included terrorism, LGBT rights and anti-Semitism.”

He said that in one of the threads he had discussed freedom of speech and he had discussed comments made by Holocaust denier David Irving.

He said he made clear in subsequent posts that he was not defending the views and strongly opposed Holocaust denial.

He added: “I apologise unreservedly for any hurt now caused by these comments and have been in contact with members of the Jewish community in Aberdeen.”

‘Blogs unacceptable’

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “The comments contained in these blogs are unacceptable and Mr Houghton has been suspended as a member of the Scottish Conservative party as a result.

“The party has also withdrawn its support for his candidacy in Aberdeen North.

“The Scottish Conservatives deplore all forms of Islamophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism.”

It comes just a week Labour candidate Kate Ramsden quit in Aberdeenshire following a row over anti-Semitism.

She stood down in the Gordon constituency after the Jewish Chronicle highlighted a blog in which she compared Israel to an abused child who becomes an abusive adult.

Another Scottish Labour candidate, Frances Hoole, was also been dropped over a social media post attacking her SNP opponent.


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