Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Sunday, 2 May 2010 10:13 UK

Monmouth Tory candidate David Davies in Nazi smear row

The Labour leaflet in Monmouth which angered David Davies
The Labour leaflet in Monmouth which angered David Davies

A Welsh Conservative candidate has claimed he is being "smeared as a Nazi" by his Labour general election opponent for raising the issue of immigration.

Monmouth candidate David Davies says he feels immigration cannot be raised without accusations of bigotry.

He claimed that Labour candidate Hamish Sandison tried to smear him by calling him "far right".

Mr Sandison denied implying Mr Davies is a Nazi, but repeated his claim that he is on "the far right of his party".

Mr Sandison's election leaflet says: "So if you don't want to be represented by a far-right Tory MP like ours, the only way to get rid of him is by voting Labour."

It comes in the wake of the row over Gordon Brown's description of pensioner Gillian Duffy as "a bigoted woman" when she discussed immigration with the prime minister during a walkabout in Rochdale earlier this week.

Monmouth Conservative candidate David Davies
People of all races and religions are fed up and want these issues raised and are getting increasingly concerned that they are unable to do so without getting smeared in this fashion
David Davies, Conservative

Mr Davies responded to the Labour campaign leaflet by saying: "I think it's appalling that my opponent is trying to smear me as some sort of a Nazi by trying to smear me as a member of the 'far right', which clearly has Nazi connotations".

He said that was "simply because like so many other people, like Gillian Duffy for example - I've raised genuine concerns about immigration."

He added: "For the record my grandfather fought against Nazism in World War II and my other grandfather was a miner, so he couldn't.

"If you'd have asked both of them, they would have said that they weren't fighting for a country where there would be unlimited immigration and where enemies of the state - members of the Taliban now can come into this country bring their families with them, claim asylum and get priority on the housing list over ex-members of the British army who leave the armed forces.

I never suggested or implied that my opponent was a Nazi... I have simply said what everyone in Welsh politics knows - that he is on the far right of his own party
Hamish Sandison, Labour candidate

"We've got a completely crazy situation in this country.

"People of all races and religions are fed up and want these issues raised and are getting increasingly concerned that they are unable to do so without getting smeared in this fashion."

In response, Mr Sandison said: "It's a bit rich for David Davies to claim he's not a far right Tory. Next he'll be claiming he's going to be running the 'yes' campaign for further powers at the [Welsh] assembly.

"I never suggested or implied that my opponent was a Nazi. I have simply said what everyone in Welsh politics knows - that he is on the far right of his own party.

"An example is his publicly stated view that householders should be allowed to arm themselves with Taser guns to repel intruders (as reported on the BBC's own website on 6 June 2006) - a view which Gwent Police has expressly said it does not support."

Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Blakebrough said: " In this election the Labour party has become more and more desperate as time has gone on and in Monmouthshire, a seat they used to hold, they are now in third place so they are worried how to project an image of themselves.

Wannabees

"What they've done is they have fastened on David Davies as being an extreme right winger and have almost tried to paint him as a racist, a bigot and other such comments.

"It's very very unhelpful in an electoral system where we're meant to be putting positive policies forward."

Plaid Cymru candidate Jonathan Clark also said the row was a "bit sad and desperate".

He said: "Here you have got two Westminster village wannabees desperate to make a name for themselves.

"To be honest they should be concentrating on the real issues of the campaign that I have been hearing about on the doorsteps."



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