Councillor defends her position in anti-semitic row

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Cllr Jacqui Harris.

A SENIOR Stratford District Councillor who was suspended from the Conservative Party over alleged anti-semitic comments made on twitter has this week defended her stance. 

Cllr Jacqui Harris, portfolio holder for Health Wellbeing and Housing, was suspended following a twitter conversation in which she suggested the ongoing anti-semitism row within the Labour Party could be part of a conspiracy to favour Israel.

Extracts from a statement issued by the councillor include the following: “I was not and I am not anti-Israel, I am of Jewish heritage but sadly if you speak up lawfully and correctly about Israel you get bullied and labelled. Regarding the current situation that I find myself in I will share my side with you. I was engaged in a conversation around the anti-semitic row nationally and it affecting everyone. I was advocating and defending this country and that as a democracy how we should be behaving, responding to this and that due process is paramount, but this is not happening, innocent until proven guilty, sub judice, freedom of speech principles and similar including the interference in this country by certain states/countries. This conversation was hijacked and turned into something that it wasn’t which in itself supports what I am trying to say. Very few may say I was fool hardy to speak up and out about this in the current environment and instead of seeing it as being adult and wanting to challenge the status quo and work in partnership with others to address it seems to think I am being a traitor for daring to agree with others that it is a problem. This saddens me and until we have more collaborative free thinking, it will never be addressed and nothing will change. I have been inundated with support from many quarters who see the conversation as it was meant to be and not manipulated, that I was speaking up about due process, law, due diligence in this country that you are innocent until proven guilty. I should not be condemned but commended to make a stand,” Cllr Harris said.