Zac Goldsmith criticised for sharing post linking Momentum to Barcelona attack
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has come in for criticism for sharing a post from his brother on Twitter linking left-wing campaign group Momentum to one of the terrorists in the Barcelona attacks.
Ben Goldsmith initially commented on a post that suggested one of the attackers had shared an anti-Semitic video alleging a “global Jewish conspiracy to take over the world”. He said: “Maybe he got it from Labour’s Momentum movement? They make for weird bedfellows, Islamism and hard-leftism, but they’re joined at the hip.”
Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith then shared his brothers’ post.
Emma Rees, Momentum’s national coordinator, said: “It is outrageous and deeply shameful that a sitting member of Parliament would use this tragic attack to spread lies and score political points.
“On behalf of Momentum, I offer our solidarity and condolences to all of those affected, and urge Zac Goldsmith to retract his comments, apologise and show some respect for those who have died in this tragic attack.”
Mr Goldsmith is not the only politician under fire for responding to the Barcelona attack – Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood faced calls to resign after the suggested that the atrocity, which killed 13 people, was the result of “far-right terrorism”.
“Terrible. Is this more far right terrorism?,” she asked on Twitter, adding: “All forms of political violence are the same. USA, Barcelona, everywhere. They are ideology-driven & we have to understand that to stop it.”
Tory assembly member Janet Finch-Saunders said the comments were “at best poorly timed and ill-judged, at worst cynical and morally depraved”, and said Ms Wood was adding “to the hysteria and toxicity of debate.
“As leader of a so-called progressive party, she should show some contrition by issuing an immediate apology and, if she doesn't, I think she should resign.”
Ms Wood said she had been “staggered” by the response to her comments.
“I am staggered by the reaction to the point that Isis and white supremacism both have far right ideologies driving them.
“Both see their group as superior to others. Both see people who are not in their group fair targets for abuse, violence and even death. Both hate minorities and consider women to be less than men.
“Both believe in using extreme violence to repress people with different views. This is far right/ fascism ideology. How can it not be?”
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe