A leading anti-racism group has called for the suspension of Dundee West parliamentary candidate Jim Malone following revelations about individuals closely linked to his campaign.
Hope Not Hate said Mr Malone has “serious questions to answer” over the involvement of people who have previously been at the heart of claims relating to anti-Semitism, racism and public corruption.
An investigation has established Mr Malone was offered use of a private vehicle belonging to John Justice, premises manager of Pillars Bar on Crichton Street, for the duration of his campaign.
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Mr Justice has been the source of concerns regarding online “hate speech” and his Facebook account currently features a range of posts which contain well-known racist tropes, including a cartoon and fake toy advert depicting the prophet Muhammad.
In one posting, Mr Justice is pictured brandishing a medieval-style sword and the message: “Come and get me if you’re f***ing hard enough you Islamic c***s”.
Mr Justice said the cartoon was previously published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and was posted “originally out of respect to them” after its Paris office was attacked in 2015.
He said the sword image “followed a series of particularly depraved ISIS beheadings of innocent hostages”.
Mr Justice added: “Islam is not a race… and I think it is perfectly permissible to criticise an ideology one strongly disapproves of.”
Mr Justice was also branded a “disgrace” and reported to police by Maryfield councillor Ken Lynn in 2016 after he posted hostile comments urging people to “boycott Islam” the day after his son Joel was sentenced for racist abuse at Dundee’s Curry Junction.
A register to vote event in support of Mr Malone was held at Pillars Bar on Saturday and posters urging the public to vote for the Labour candidate have been on display outside.
Mr Malone had come under fire in May – while running to become a councillor in Dundee’s North East ward – for repeatedly campaigning with Communist Party Dundee leader Raymond Mennie, a former councillor who was jailed on corruption charges.
Mr Mennie was handed a prison sentence in 1993 after being found guilty of corruptly soliciting cash as an inducement to support a planning application and is listed as one of Mr Malone’s nominators.
Gnasher Jew, a group of Jewish journalists known for “exposing left-wing anti-Semitism”, has uncovered a social media postmade by Mr Mennie last year which describes “hysterical Israelites” and “gentile” Labour MPs, in reference to a row over a mural featuring anti-Semitic tropes.
George McIrvine is a councillor in Dundee & a good example of how institutionalised antisemitism is in @UKLabour
He was let of charges of antisemitism, yet here he is having liking a highly offensive racist post on FB.
— (((GnasherJew®גנאשר))) (@GnasherJew) November 22, 2019
Mr Mennie’s post was ‘liked’ by Mr Malone’s campaign coordinator George McIrvine, a Coldside councillor who has already received a warning from Labour party bosses after an investigation into another alleged anti-Semitic Facebook post.
Mr McIrvine did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr Mennie has frequently been seen campaigning with Mr Malone in recent weeks. The former councillor regularly posts material online targeted at Jewish groups and those challenging alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour party.
His references include calling Israeli Jews “murdering morons” and “Zionist maggots”, and sharing claims the Labour Party’s struggles with antisemitism are “miniscule” and being used by “Labour right-wingers” to “expel left-wing members of the party”.
Hope Not Hate said: “Based on the evidence, it’s clear Jim Malone has serious questions to answer about the disreputable people he has involved in his campaign, and the Labour Party should take swift and decisive action by suspending him pending a full investigation.
“Anyone who tolerates hate in this way has no place in our politics.”
Scottish Labour previously faced calls to suspend Mr Malone over his support of former MP Chris Williamson, who was suspended by the party after a video emerged of him saying Labour had been “too apologetic” over allegations of anti-Semitism.
Mr Williamson was invited to Dundee in December to take part in gatherings including a “meeting on Palestine” and Mr Malone tabled a motion in September calling for the “immediate” return of Mr Williamson to the Labour fold.
A spokesman for the party said it “cannot comment on individual complaints”.
He said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of antisemitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken.
Jim Malone and Raymond Mennie did not respond to requests for comment.