EXCLUSIVE: HOPE not hate can reveal that controversial Tory MP Desmond Swayne appeared on antisemitic conspiracy theory show, ‘The Richie Allen Show’ late last year.
Yesterday Sky News reported that the Conservative MP Sir Desmond Swayne urged anti-lockdown campaigners to persist with their fight against government restrictions and even claimed the NHS capacity figures were being “manipulated” to exaggerate the scale of the current pandemic. The story was originally found by the Bournemouth Daily Echo in November last year who reported that he had spoken with the anti-lockdown group Save Our Rights UK.
HOPE not hate can now reveal that in November 2020 Swayne was also a guest on Britain’s leading antisemitic conspiracy theory show, The Richie Allen Show. Allen opened the show describing Swayne as “pretty much a lone voice in parliament” due to his anti-lockdown stance.
Appearing after Swayne on the same 12 November show was James Fetzer, a conspiracy theorist who has co-edited a book titled “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook”, followed up by another book titled “And Nobody died in Boston, Either”, after the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Fetzer has claimed that “the Holocaust story appears to be false and cannot be sustained”, wrote the foreword for Nick Kollerstrom’s Holocaust denial book Breaking the Spell, and has been quoted by the Chronicle of Higher Education describing himself as a “Holocaust denier”.
During his interview Swayne accepts that “it is a serious disease” but argues, “We have to have a sense of proportion […] Yes 50,000 people have died but that is what you would expect in a bad flu season” and added, “You have to consider whether the measures you are taking are worse than the disease itself.”
He also questions the official numbers of deaths. “I accept that there are huge question marks about the validity of the testing and some of the numbers we’ve been getting.”
Whether one agrees with his skepticism of lockdown measures, it is certainly the case that a Tory MP should never agree to being on such an infamous and extreme show. There is no evidence that Swayne knew of Allen’s extreme views or past guests before agreeing to appear, but a simple Google search would have quickly shown why he should have steered clear.
The Richie Allen Show
Allen is the Manchester-based protégé of conspiracy theorist David Icke, who has frequently engaged in extreme antisemitism. The Richie Allen Show emerged from Icke’s short-lived broadcast The People’s Voice, and was for a time hosted on Icke’s website. As Marlon Solomon writes, while Allen insists his guests are on to “debate”, they are often given an easy ride if they hold conspiratorial beliefs, and whilst presenting his show as a “free speech” platform, Allen often praises his guests despite their extreme positions.
For example, Allen hosted infamous Holocaust denier Nick Kollerstrom, a regular on the show, on Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, calling him an “old friend” and describing his 7/7 conspiracy theory work as “vital” and “essential”. Kollerstrom proceeded to deny the existence of gas chambers, to claim that the Jewish death toll was 200,000 in the camps, and to claim that there is “no trace of any extermination policy” and “no trace of any scorn or contempt” towards Jews in the camps. Whilst Allen lightly challenges Kollerstrom on some of his assertions, Allen also states that “I believe something is very wrong with the story, otherwise I wouldn’t be having you on”, and that “I believe they were killing people […] I believe they [the Nazis] were maniacal. However, there’s a big lie there somewhere, I don’t believe the numbers are anywhere near as great as they’re saying, you know”, going on to tell Kollerstrom “I’m with you with respect to the numbers and the way that it’s been exploited ever since”.
Allen has also supported Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz, known for her prosecution for uploading to YouTube footage of her Jew-hating musical performance at the fascist London Forum in 2016. Allen has hosted Chabloz on his show, calling her a “remarkable woman, extraordinary woman”, and calling her songs “satirical, they’re very funny, they’re very good I think”. The songs for which Chabloz was convicted include the vile “(((Survivors)))”, in which she mocks Anne Frank and Holocaust survivors Irene Zysblat and Elie Wiesel (the triple parentheses in the title are a common antisemitic symbol in the contemporary online far right). There are many further examples of antisemitism on Allen’s show.