A former Conservative party parliamentary candidate who described an MP’s conversion to Judaism as “a con” is standing for election in May.
Wendy Maisey, the chair of the Warrington Conservatives, claimed the Labour MP Charlotte Nichols was faking her religion and that she would pretend to have a disability in order to win votes.
In messages that came to light in February, the prospective councillor wrote that Nichols “turned her back on Catholicism but will jump on anything for a vote” and added: “Next thing will be she’s in the vulnerable category. We always said she’ll pull out a disability at an appropriate time to go with Jewish ginger LGBT.”
Maisey, who said she was sorry “if I have caused any offence with my comments”, has been selected as the Conservative party candidate for a seat on Warrington borough council in the 6 May elections.
In February the Conservative party co-chair Amanda Milling announced an investigation into the Warrington Conservative branch, which is chaired by Maisey, but it is not clear whether this process has concluded.
The inquiry followed alleged antisemitic comments by another member of the group, who tweeted Nichols, the MP for Warrington North, saying: “Keep the Aryan race going.”
Nichols, who has said she converted to Reform Judaism in 2014 and who identifies as LGBT, said she was “absolutely appalled” that Maisey was able to stand for election.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said on Thursday: “We all have a responsibility to call out antisemitism when we see it. But even after investigating, the Conservatives appear to be happy to endorse a candidate who accused a Jewish MP of lying about her religion and using her sexual orientation to win votes.
“These views have absolutely no place in politics. And without robust action to root them out of their ranks, the Tories are sending the message that they are not serious about tackling discrimination in wider society.”
In a statement reported by the Warrington Guardian, Maisey said: “I am pleased to be standing in Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft, I will be campaigning against the building on green belt and I would like to see more services here for young people not less.
“I’ve been a founder patron of Warrington Youth Zone for three years and passionate about youth provision especially for the underprivileged in our villages.”
Maisey and the Conservative party have been contacted for comment.