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Aspiring councillor for Ivybridge has been suspended from Conservative party over controversial Holocaust views

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Aspiring councillor for Ivybridge has been suspended from Conservative party over controversial Holocaust views

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A prospective councillor up for election in Ivybridge has been suspended by the local Conservative association following controversial social media posts about the Holocaust and Covid vaccinations. 

Stanley Murphy, who will still be on the ballot paper for next month's local council elections, has been suspended from the South West Devon Conservative Association for social media posts about gun control, the Holocaust and the Covid vaccination programme. 

Image: L-R: Stanley Murphy sits next to chairman of SHDC, Councillor Lance Austen - credit Cllr John Birch 

It has been reported that Murphy, on his social media account, suggested the holocaust would have been less likely if more Jews had guns. Murphy also claims that if parents spent time with their children at rifle ranges it would be “quality family time and gun control all in one.”

South Hams District Councillor John Birch, Liberal Democrat, commented on the situation, stating: "Cllr Lance Austen, the SHDC Chairman, is seeking re-election as a Conservative in the Ivybridge West ward. It is a two member ward and Cllr Austen has as his running mate in the election a fellow Conservative, Stanley Murphy, who it appears holds extreme right wing views."

In one social media post from 2021, Mr Murphy shared an image of Jews being forced into trains during the notorious “Grossaktion” in 1942, when victims were deported from the Warsaw Ghetto before being sent to the extermination camp in Treblinka. The image includes the words: “Why gun control? Because armed people will NOT willingly load themselves into railroad boxcars.”

In another post, it is reported that Mr Murphy argued that the Covid-19 vaccination programme was "an experiment on the population" and that certain equality programmes in schools are "communism".

Cllr Birch continued: "I call on Cllr Austen to immediately disassociate himself from the extreme right wing views of Mr Murphy and make it quite clear that in his position as SHDC Chairman such views are totally unacceptable and should not be supported in the forthcoming election."

A spokesperson for South West Devon Conservative Association said: “South West Devon Conservative Association (SWDCA) has been made aware of comments made by Stanley Murphy - a Conservative Candidate - in relation to both the Covid Vaccination process and the Holocaust. SWDCA condemns the comments made by Mr Murphy.

"SWDCA has taken the decision to suspend Mr Murphy, pending an investigation into his comments on social media."

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, commented on similar comments made concerning gun control and the Holocaust in 2015, saying: “The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state. When they had weapons, Jews could symbolically resist, as they did in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and elsewhere, but they could not stop the Nazi genocide machine.  

"In short, gun control did not cause the Holocaust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, also said at the time: “The idea that supporters of gun control are doing something akin to what Hitler’s Germany did to strip citizens of guns in the run-up to the Second World War is historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families.”

Anna Scanlon, PhD in Holocaust History, wrote in a 2018 article for Jewish magazine, the Forward: "There were cases when Jews rose up together in order to take their fate into their own hands, and in most cases, this did involve firearms.

"The famous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising occurred in the spring of 1943 as the Nazis began to close down the ghetto, shipping all of its inhabitants to Treblinka. The Nazis had planned to transport everyone from the ghetto to the camp in just three days, but it took almost a month, thanks to the network of underground Jewish fighters.

"In the end, most of those who had chosen to fight perished at the hands of the Nazis, who used firebombs to burn them out of their underground hiding spots. While this uprising did delay the deportations to Treblinka, the Warsaw Ghetto was still emptied and most of the Jews within it perished.

"Stating that the Holocaust would not have happened if individual citizens were at its best a distortion of facts. At its worst, it is an insult to not only those who survived, but those who sacrificed their own lives in order to attempt doomed rebellions in the hopes the world would not remember the victims of the Holocaust as meek and defenceless."

We have contacted Mr Murphy via social media and will update this story if we receive a response. 

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