MP apologises for ‘Holocaust’ comments

By Ian Dunt

David Wilshire, the MP at the centre of an expenses row last month, has apologised for comparing his treatment to that of the Jews under Nazi Germany.

The comments, which appeared in an email, were branded “frankly ludicrous” by his party leader, David Cameron.

“The witch-hunt against MPs in general will undermine democracy,” Mr Wilshire wrote.

“It will weaken parliament – handing yet more power to governments. Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler’s gas chambers.”

Mr Wilshire later retracted the comments.

“In a reply to very unpleasant e-mails from about half a dozen people… I did refer to the Holocaust. I was not seeking to equate what is happening to MPs with the Holocaust,” he said.

“I was simply warning that history teaches that the sentiments expressed in such e-mails can lead to horrendous consequences.

“So, if anyone finds my response to these emails inappropriate I apologise unreservedly. The last thing I want to do is upset anyone.

“However, all these e-mails assumed a newspaper’s untested allegations were proof of guilt.

“Amongst the unpleasant things said were that I should immediately be taken out and strung up from a lamp post, that the sender was coming to shoot me and that most MPs were corrupt and ought to be disposed of.”

Mr Wilshire announced he would stand down as an MP last month after controversy swirled around claims of £100,000 in expenses which he paid into a company he owned to run his office.

“I continue to believe that the two general anxieties I raised in my e-mail need to be taken very seriously (however clumsily I might have expressed them in the first place),” he added.

He is one of over 100 MPs not seeking re-election at the general election in the wake of the expenses scandal.