A Conservative election board defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti is one of a number which has had to be replaced in Richmond, West London, in the days leading up to the election.
A picture of the board, daubed with a large swastika, was posted to Facebook by Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate in the constituency on Monday. He added the comment: “Lots of you have emailed me about defaced posters in the last few days. We will make sure to replace all of them. You know you’ve lost the argument if you have to resort to stuff like this.”
Mr. Goldsmith, whose father was Jewish, has previously admitted to being the subject of anti-Semitic abuse thanks to his name despite not identifying personally as Jewish.
“If you type in my name on Twitter, you will find that I am at the very heart of the Jewish conspiracy,” he told a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch in 2015, whilst campaigning to be Mayor of London.
“[They say] I have this amazing control over the press – which should make my mayoral contest very easy; and that my family have completely infiltrated the royal family.
“Sadly, social media is a reminder of the rising wave of anti-Semitism which sweeping across Europe.
“There is no denying or ignoring it.
“Particularly on social media, criticism of Israel has become a cover for an old hatred.”
The defaced boards in Richmond follow a similar incident last week when swastikas were found cut into posters promoting Sheryll Murray, the Conservative candidate for South East Cornwall.
Murray told the Jewish News: “I am sickened by this attack on my posters which was signed with a swastika,” she said.
“This symbol is incredibly offensive to both Jews who lost so many and the British who stood firm against its tyranny.”
Mrs. Murray’s election agent, Bob Davidson, added: “This is clearly an attack from a group who despise Sheryll’s longstanding support for the Jewish community.
“The posters were cut with a sharp implement so clearly they went prepared with something that could also be used as a weapon.”
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the incident had been reported as criminal damage rather than as a hate crime.
Meanwhile, the police have failed to attend the scene of three anti-Semitic attacks in progress, deeming them to be a low priority. The attacks included a family who were pelted with stones on a Kent beach, and a teenage girl who was left bleeding for two hours after fending off attackers who punched and kicked her.