Three political parties have come together to support a candidate who suffered anti-Semitic abuse in the run-up to a council by-election.

Hertsmere Labour has accused the Hertsmere Conservatives of a "smear campaign" against its losing candidate Dr Dan Ozarow, following a by-election in Kenilworth in Borehamwood in February.

The Labour Party has alleged the Tories were responsible for abuse received by Dr Ozarow in the run up to the election - a claim which has been firmly denied by the Hertsmere Conservatives.

Among the abuse Dr Ozarow received was being labelled a "Jew-hating Jew c***" as well as being told to "go to the gas chambers".

Borehamwood Times:

This post of Dr Ozarow canvassing with MP's Clive Lewis and Sam Tarry was captioned 'Jew hating Jew ****'

The Conservatives say it is "wrong" if people choose to abuse others online and have not denied the abuse was aimed at Dr Ozarow - but have denied Labour claims that the Tories or its supporters were responsible for the abuse.

Hertsmere Labour has now released a new statement on the ongoing situation - and say it has been endorsed by the Green party in Hertsmere.

The statement reads: "We strongly condemn the anti-Semitic abuse and threats that Labour’s candidate, Dr Dan Ozarow, received during and following the Borehamwood Kenilworth by-election.

"Racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry have no place in a modern democracy or in local politics. No one should ever have to endure such abuse simply because they stand for public office.

"We are also horrified that Hertsmere Conservatives resorted to a smear campaign against him, including multiple instances of defamation and harassment that have been reported on in the national and local media."

Labour adds: "In the spirit of unity and the interests of local residents, we call upon Hertsmere Conservatives to commit to a kinder politics, rather than sowing division and hatred."

The Hertsmere Liberal Democrats have also lent its support to Dr Ozarow.

Party leader, Cllr Jerry Evans, claims the Tories "dragged politics into the deepest dirtiest gutter" to win the election. 

Borehamwood Times:

Dan Ozarow

Labour also allege that the Tories delivered a letter from their candidate, Brett Rosehill, to residents' homes implying Dr Ozarow supported Hamas and Hezbollah.

Labour also say their candidate received abusive emails to his work account.

The party says it has reported the Conservatives to the police for alleged incitement to racial and religious hatred.

Meanwhile, the former Labour Party general secretary, Jennie Formby, last month wrote to the Conservative Party at a national level over the "utterly disgraceful behaviour over alleged anti-Semitic abuse" Dr Ozarow received.

Borehamwood Times:

Jennie Formby, who today (May 4) resigned as General Secretary of the Labour Party. Photo credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Dr Ozarow, who lost out on a seat in Kenilworth ward for the second time in less than a year after he lost to Cllr Rosehill in February, is taking legal action against the Conservatives for what he describes as "seemingly orchestrated defamation campaign" against him - and has set up a fundraising page to raise money for legal fees.

In response to Labour's statement, Hertsmere Conservatives said: "It is always wrong if people choose to abuse others online as a consequence of anything they read. Social media should be an avenue for a grown-up debate.

"However there is no evidence to suggest that this was the responsibility of the Hertsmere Conservatives or its members and for Labour to keep repeating this accusation is spurious.

"We are disappointed the other parties who have signed up to this letter did not check the facts before allowing their names to be associated with these trumped up allegations.

"Indeed on closer examination, readers will find it was Labour who ran a questionable local election campaign including their party's deputy leader sharing and spreading a fake Facebook page containing foul language about the Conservative candidate."

Borehamwood Times:

Hertsmere Conservatives celebrate with newly elected Cllr Rosehill after winning the by-election in Kenilworth

The Tories are referring to a Facebook campaign diary purporting to be by Cllr Rosehill in the run-up to the election, which was shared onto other social media pages by Labour councillor Michelle Vince.

Cllr Vince has previously told the Times she "meant no offence" when she shared the Facebook page.