Lib Dems rap Tory
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2005-12-23
Tory party leader David Cameron has been asked by the Liberal Democrats to take action over a Conservative Councillor who said at a meeting: "Jews run everything in Britain and practically run America."
The comments were made by Brent Councillor Jack Sayers at a health conference in Cricklewood, north west London in June this year and he says they were taken out of context and used against him to get political gain by the Liberal Democrats. The matter was referred to the Standards Board and Mr Sayers was cleared.
"It was a private conversation I was having and was not a sinister comment," said Mr Sayers, a Tory Councillor since 1990. "You've got to admire the Jewish people and what they have done and achieved. That is what I was getting at. This has been blown all out of proportion and is a political vendetta against me. The Liberal Democrats are trying to court the Jewish community by taking what I said all out of context."
In a statement, Lib Dems Councillor Paul Lorber said: "David Cameron has said a lot about making his Party more tolerant and more inclusive, and getting rid of the nasty image. Well, heres his first test. Council elections in London are under five months away. Will he act to block Jack Sayers from standing as a Conservative next May, or are remarks and attitudes like these still acceptable in the Cameron Conservative Party?"
"I'm Irish and people say the Irish run the building trade, that is not offensive," Mr Sayers said. "I have great admiration for Jewish people. I made a remark about Jewish people and it in praise of them and what they do. Look at areas where Jews are and it thrives, but when they are gone, an area suffers from it. Here in Cricklewood when there was a large Jewish community it was a thriving area and now it is very run down. Just look at the area and see for yourself. Those are the facts."
Mr Sayers added: "I'm here defending myself over something that is a vendetta against me. The Liberal Democrats are doing this to try and get Jewish voters. That's what it is all about. My Jewish friends know I admire and respect the Jewish community and I want other people in the community to know this as well and understand that what the Liberal Democrats are saying is purely for political gain."