The newly-launched Tory youth activist group, Activate, has been engulfed in scandal just days after launching. A leaked screenshot, purported to be from the group’s WhatsApp thread, contains Nazi-inspired suggestions about “gassing Chavs.” The screen-shot, apparently leaked by a member of the organising group, is republished in all its gory detail below.
Activate is not officially affiliated to the Conservative Party, although the chances of that ever happening may now have receded somewhat. This has been an unarguably inauspicious start for the Activate “network”, set up to ape the tactics of the Jeremy Corbyn-supporting Momentum.
Although Momentum has been in existence for some two years and has been the subject of widespread condemnation across the political spectrum, no scandal like this has befallen it. However, Tory youth politics does appear to attract scandal. One horrific case of organised bullying was linked to the suicide of a young Tory activist.
Where the Activate network goes next is unclear. A number of the group’s members allegedly contributed to the above thread, and it is possible that this is only a sample of the kind of bile being spread around internally by Activate. It may be that the fledgling organisation is already doomed.
A spokesperson for Activate told the Tory-supporting Daily Mail (which was an early supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis): “None of the people included in those messages currently have any seniority with the organisation. We are working on ensuring that the people in question are removed from the group as a whole, if still members. They were banned from the WhatsApp group in question when comments like this were made.
The comments were sickening and are totally incompatible with what Activate is trying to achieve. We apologise for any offence that has been caused by the people in question. And stress our commitment to open discussion about the future of our party and country.”
In the wake of this scandal, the Conservative Party has publicly reiterated that Activate is not affiliated to the party.