Dominic Raab shares unseen pictures of his Jewish father who fled the Nazis and his great-grandparents who were murdered in the Holocaust as he calls Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal ‘a stain on our country’
- Dominic Raab’s father Peter fled the Nazis in 1938 and settled in UK aged six
- His grandparents and other relatives were murdered during the Holocaust
- Mr Raab says Corbyn and McDonnell are failing to defend ‘fair and tolerance’
- He said: ‘You’d be surprised how many British people take this personally’
Tory leadership hopeful Dominic Raab today released pictures of his Jewish relatives who were murdered in the Holocaust and attacked Labour for failing to stamp out anti-Semitism among members and MPs calling it a ‘stain on our country’.
Mr Raab has described how his father Peter fled the Nazis in 1938 and came to Britain aged six as he accused Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell of not standing up for ‘free and tolerant democracy’ that welcomed his dad.
Peter Raab ran from his native Czechoslovakia but the majority of his family – including his grandparents – were left behind and would later be murdered because of their faith.
His father learned English, worked for M&S as a food manager and met his mother Jean, who was from Bromley, Kent. He died when Dominic was 12 after losing his battle with cancer.
Drawing on what happened to his family Mr Raab said: ‘I believe all parties must preserve the free and tolerant democracy that I know from my own family’s experience we are lucky to have in this country.
‘I think if you look at the evidence, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have shown they won’t stand up for that ideal’.
He added: ‘You’d be surprised how many British people take this personally.’
Tory leadership hopeful Dominic Raab described father Peter fled the Nazis in 1938 and came to Britain aged six (right)
He said his father (pictured) was welcomed by ‘free and tolerant’ Britain and accused Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Labour of not standing up for those ideals
A young Dominic Raab, 9, with mother Jean, father Peter and sister Jody. His father died when Raab was 12. His mother later took her own life, according to ITV News
The Tory MP said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s ‘inaction’ over anti-Semitism meant the Labour Party was a ‘stain on our country’.
In the video, he says: ‘In recent times, this once great party has become a stain on our country.
‘I am talking about the inaction when a small minority of members and even their own MPs are caught saying terrible things that go beyond the bounds of tolerant debate.’
Outlining his family’s journey as refugees, Mr Raab said his father could not speak English when he arrived in the country aged six, but ‘grasped the opportunities and embraced the tolerance that our great country offers’.
His father ‘never forgot what happened to his family’, Mr Raab said, adding: ‘Most of his family had been systematically murdered for no other reason that they were Jews.’
He said the Labour leadership was not standing up for ‘free and tolerant democracy’.
‘There are certain things that should stand above party political divides,’ he said.
Mr Raab has been criticised as he admitted he would ‘probably not’ describe himself as a feminist but insisted he was committed to equality.
Peter Raab with his grandfather and grandmother in Czechoslovakia, who were all murdered by the Nazis for being Jewish
Dominic and his sister Judy with their grandmothers at home in Buckinghamshire in the 1980s
The former Brexit secretary was challenged over a 2011 comment that some feminists are ‘obnoxious bigots’.
The Tory leadership contender said: ‘The point I was making is that sexism is wrong and it’s wrong if it’s said about a woman or about a man and I think equality is too precious a value for us to put up with double standards.
‘I do think we should call hypocrisy out in political debate and political life.’
Asked on ITV News whether he would describe himself as a feminist he said: ‘No, probably not.
‘But I would describe myself as someone who’s a champion of equality and meritocracy.’
Referring to his wife, Erika, he said they were a ‘two salary couple, I support her as much as she supports me’.
‘I’m all for working women making the very best of their potential and that’s something that’s really important to me.’
Mr Raab, a prominent Brexiteer, played down the prospect of Speaker John Bercow helping to block a no-deal departure from the EU.
‘I don’t think that will affect the chances and I think Parliament should of course have its say right the way through this.
‘But actually I think it’s very difficult for Parliament to frustrate Brexit if the Government is serious about keeping our promises to the people of this country.’
He insisted that a no-deal Brexit was not his preferred option and said he would use ‘every ounce of energy’ to work for a better offer from the EU.
‘But if they don’t move we must give this country a sense of direction, get out of this rut and take Britain forward and that’s what I’d do.’
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