EXCL Former Labour mayor criticised over Facebook post about Holocaust

Posted On: 
3rd January 2019

A former Labour mayor has been criticised after sharing a Facebook post about Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust.

Labour has been dogged by anti-Semitism rows in recent years.
PA Images

Robin Turner, who served as a councillor in Derby for nearly 30 years, said the meme - which compares the number of Jewish people killed by the Nazis to African genocides - "makes a pertinent point for the UK".

Jewish groups called on the Labour party to take action.

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Mr Turner, who only stood down as a councillor at last year's local elections, shared the post on his Facebook page on 27 December.

It shows a picture of Hitler underneath the words 'Killed 6 million Jews'. Alongside him is a picture of Cecil Rhodes with the words 'Killed more than 60 million Africans' and Leopold II of Belgium with the caption 'Killed more than 15 million Africans and mutilated millions of Africans in Congo'.

Underneath the photographs the meme says: "Hitler killed 6 million Jews and these other 2 serial killers killed 70 million Africans combined but your school education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the 6 million Zionists that were killed by Hitler. Black lives never mattered since the slave ship."

Mr Turner, who is believed to still be a Labour member, wrote: "Written for a USA audience but it makes a pertinent point for the UK and Belgium. But not all the 6 million Jews killed were Zionists."

Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said: "Such disgusting comments would once have been unthinkable from a Labour party member. They are now all too common in Jeremy Corbyn's party.

"If Labour were truly committed to rooting out anti-Semitism, it would take immediate action in this and many other cases. Sadly we have little confidence it will."

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: "Yet again, a member of a mainstream political party sharing grotesque anti-Semitism on social media - a former councillor no less. When will this stop? Will 2019 be a time of change when it comes to the Labour party and anti-Semitism? Sadly I’m not holding out much hope."

Mr Turner was first elected as a county councillor in 1989, and was mayor of the City of Derby from 2002 until 2003.

When he stood down last year, he said: "It has been an absolute privilege serving residents across Derby. I've enjoyed sitting on many committees and contributing towards decisions taken in that time, but most of all I've enjoyed helping people with issues they have faced."

A Labour source said they could not comment on individual cases.

Mr Turner has been approached for comment.