Desmond Swayne and Richie Allen: action is needed

29 01 21

Yesterday, HOPE not hate revealed that controversial MP Sir Desmond Swayne had appeared on the vile ‘Richie Allen show’ in November last year. Allen’s show regularly plays host to conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers, as any simple Google search would have shown. Read the full story here.

The Conservative Party have now responded to our story, to Jewish News: “Desmond Swayne has explained that he was not aware of the history of this show and would never have appeared on it had he been.”

“Whoops” is not an acceptable response to appearing on the Richie Allen show.

I’ve written to the Conservatives’ Chief Whip to complain about the situation. You can read the full letter below – and I’ll post the reply, if one is sent.

Dear Chief Whip Mark Spencer MP, 

I am writing to you with dismay over the conduct of Sir Desmond Swayne MP over recent months and urge you to consider strong action to be taken against him. 

Media outlets including Sky News have reported Mr Swayne’s deeply dangerous and conspiratorial claims around Covid-19 figures and showing support for anti-lockdown campaigners. This wasn’t his only foray into the world of conspiracy theories. 

Yesterday, HOPE not hate revealed that Mr Swayne appeared on the antisemitic conspiracy theory show, ‘The Richie Allen Show’ late last year where he compared Covid deaths to a bad flu season. 

  • The other guest on the same day was James Fetzer, co-editor of “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook” and is a self-proclaimed Holocaust denier.  
  • Other recent guests have included David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK and Holocaust-denier Nick Kollerstrom on Holocaust Memorial Day 2016. 
  • The show is supported and promoted by prominent antisemitic conspiracy theorist David Icke. 

By associating with antisemitic conspiracy theorists, even if, as we must assume, he did so inadvertently, an MP of your party has given a level of credibility. We of course should welcome robust media debate, and politicians of all stripes are interviewed by outlets and journalists who may hold differing views. But this is not about robust debate – this is about engaging with those who seek to deny the holocaust and who spread dangerous disinformation.  

In raising these issues with you, I’d like to make the following suggestions:  

  • You reconsider, and suspend Sir Desmond pending his willingness to apologise for appearing on this show and to make amends  
  • You require that he does due diligence to ensure he does not inadvertently appear on any other programmes where holocaust denial is a regular feature  
  • You issue a reminder to all colleagues that appearing on programmes which regularly promote conspiracy theories and antisemitism is not acceptable behaviour 

In such an important moment for this country, no political party should allow those who enable conspiracy theories to flourish to sit on their benches in Parliament. 

I look forward to receiving your response. 

Yours sincerely,  

Nick Lowles 

CEO, HOPE not hate 


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