Tory MP Zac Goldsmith links Barcelona terror attack to Labour's Momentum group

Momentum tells The Independent: 'It is outrageous and deeply shameful that a sitting member of Parliament would use this tragic attack to spread lies and score political points'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Friday 18 August 2017 12:53 BST
Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith
Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has been accused of using terrorism for scoring “political points” by sharing a post attempting to link a Barcelona attacker with the left-wing campaign group Momentum.

Less than 24 hours after 14 people were killed in the popular Spanish city by terrorists, Mr Goldsmith’s brother, Ben, commented on a post which suggested one of the men involved in the attack had shared an anti-Semitic video, alleging “a global Jewish conspiracy to take over the world”.

Responding to the post on Twitter, Ben Goldsmith asked: “Maybe he got it from Labour’s Momentum movement? They make for weird bedfellows, Islamism and hard-leftism, but they’re joined at the hip.”

The Richmond MP, Mr Goldsmith, then shared his brother’s provocative remarks.

A spokesperson for Momentum – the group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – told The Independent: “It is outrageous and deeply shameful that a sitting member of Parliament would use this tragic attack to spread lies and score political points.

“On behalf of Momentum, I offer our solidarity and condolences to all of those affected, and urge Zac Goldsmith to retract his comments, apologise and show some respect for those who have died in this tragic attack,” added Emma Rees, the group’s national coordinator.

Mr Goldsmith retweeted his brother, Ben, on his social media account

Responding to the post, Guardian journalist Owen Jones added: “It’s not just sick to use terrorism for political gain, it’s defamatory.”

“Zac Goldsmith using the Barcelona terrorist atrocity which killed at least 13 people to attack Momentum. The absolute state of that man,” he added.

It comes after Theresa May said she was “sickened by the senseless loss of life” on Las Ramblas – the popular tourist strip – after terrorists mounted the pavement in a van.

The Prime Minister added: “The Foreign Office is working to establish if any British nationals were involved in the appalling incident and we are in close contact with the authorities in Spain, who have our full support.

“Following the attacks in Manchester and London, Spain stood alongside the British people. Tonight, Britain stands with Spain against the evil of terrorism.”

The Foreign Office has since said it was helping a “small number” of British nationals caught up in the attack.

A spokeswoman added: “Our thoughts are with the victims of these terrible attacks and the people of Spain. We are currently assisting a small number of British people affected and are working to find out if any more need our help. We have deployed additional staff to Barcelona and have offered support to the Spanish authorities.”

Mr Goldsmith’s office did not respond to a request for comment when asked by The Independent.

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