Australian party official resigns over slur



A senior Australian Liberal Party official resigned after slurring a candidate from her own party.

Susan Chandler, the campaign manager for the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party, apologized to Adam Held, a Jewish candidate who ran unsuccessfully in last November’s federal election in the seat of Melbourne Ports.

Chandler had sent an e-mail to Liberal staffer John Osborn last October referring to Held as a “greedy f–-ing Jew” after he had requested more campaign material to distribute in his electorate, which has a
large Jewish population.

The e-mail emerged in the fallout from a blogging scandal involving Osborn and another party insider, Simon Morgan, from within Liberal headquarters, according to the Herald Sun newspaper. Both were fired for their blog attacking state Liberal leader Ted Baillieu.

The party’s president, David Kemp, said at a news conference Monday that Chandler would have been fired for her “completely inappropriate” comments had she not resigned.

Chandler, who did not attend the news conference, said in an e-mail statement that she had “many Jewish friends and am in no way anti-Semitic.”

Baillieu said anti-Semitism was “totally unacceptable.”

“The Liberal Party in Victoria, and across Australia, rejects any form of anti-Semitism or racial vilification and will not tolerate either within its ranks,” he said.

B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission chairman John Searle said he was shocked by the comment.

“There is no place for such behavior anywhere in our society,” he said, “let alone amongst the senior figures of one of our major political parties.”

Held, who lost to Labor’s Michael Danby, told the Australian Jewish News, “Given the staff member’s resignation today and the acknowledgement by her of the seriousness of this matter, I have accepted her apology and now consider the matter closed.”


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