UK Politics

Jasper’s photo-op with Holocaust Denier

When I read the 2003 email exchange between Ken Livingstone’s race advisor Lee Jasper and a leading conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier ‘Prof’ Tony Martin, I cheered for Jasper. His curt termination of the pointless correspondence with Martin was a knock out!

‘Prof’ Martin, an academic and supposed expert on black consciosness leader Marcus Garvey – who teaches that Jews were behind the African slave trade – had been invited to speak at a City Hall-funded Black History Month event by Lee Jasper’s (now ‘disgraced former’) deputy, Rosemary Emodi.

Whether Ms Emodi knew at the time that Martin peddled an extremely antisemitic line of anti-Jewish conspiracy theories we don’t know. There’s no point in asking her, I suppose, because she lies about stuff. But let’s say she was naive about Martin’s true politics.

The killer blow for Martin wasn’t his racism. It was the discovery that he had lectured at David Irving’s “Real History” conference, where Holocaust Denial is promulgated. When Martin’s links to David Irving hit the press, Jasper wrote to Martin and disinvited him: (warning: Martin’s website “” is considered a hate site by some ISPs)

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me today. Having confirmed with you that you attended and spoke at David Irving’s ‘Real History Conference’ in 2001 and the Institute for Historical Review’s annual conference in 2002 and that both of these conferences included speakers known for their anti-Semitic and racist activities including Holocaust denial, the Mayor’s Office has decided to withdraw its invitation to you to address the First Voice conference on Saturday 25 October.

The appearance of a close association between yourself and extreme right wing academics and organisations at these conferences has left the Mayor’s Office with no alternative but to withdraw its invitation.

It is with some regret that I write this email, because of your obvious expertise in relation to the life and works of Marcus Garvey.

In response, Martin dispatched a torrent of abusive emails accusing Jasper of being an “Uncle Tom” and “a black talking head for Jewish ventriloquism”.

Martin should never have been invited by his deputy in the first place. However, Lee Jasper did well promptly to disinvite this weird racist. This is a model of the manner in which the Qaradawi affair should have been treated.

But the story doesn’t end here.

Here is a press clipping from last year. It is from a newspaper aimed at the black community called “The Whirlwind“. The headline reads:

Lee Jasper steals photo-op with man he refused to share platform with 3 years ago

What is going on here? The paper notes that the smile and posed handshake wasn’t all. Jasper is seeking a fresh meeting with ‘Prof’ Martin. Jasper may for some inexplicable reason be prepared to forgive and forget, but Martin isn’t. He allowed the photo to be taken, shaking hands with Lee Jasper smiling for the camera, but then crowed about it on his website. Even he called it a “Strange Sequel”.

So, let’s rehearse. Back in 2003, it is possible Rosemary Emodi did not know Martin’s background. When it was exposed by the press, Jasper withdrew his deputy’s invitation. Good on him.

Fast-forward to 2007: Lee Jasper seeks rapprochement with the Martin, the man he’s previously (correctly) identified as a Hollocaust denying associate of David Irving’s and a peddler of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The only response to this “strange sequel” is – why?

Why is Lee Jasper suddenly so keen to be photographed in London’s black community press shaking hands with an antisemite friend of David Irving’s?

David T adds:

Graham points us to these videos of David Irving introducing Tony Martin at one of his “Real History” conferences:

What is Ken Livingstone’s Equalities Advisor doing shaking the hand of a man he knows to be a racist, and a colleague of David Irving?

Will anybody ask Lee Jasper how this came to happen?