Jewish group calls for probe over 'swastika hot cross bun'

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Former lord mayor Lee Mason denies making a hot cross bun with a swastika on it

A Jewish group has called on the Conservative Party to investigate claims a Tory councillor baked a hot cross bun with a swastika on it.

Former lord mayor Lee Mason admitted making buns with the word "sex" and an expletive after images emerged.

However, he denied making one with a swastika and speaking to Portsmouth News said the image had been altered.

He has been suspended by Portsmouth North Conservative Association while an investigation is carried out.

The BBC has also contacted Mr Mason for comment.

Nazi symbol

"I have not baked a bun with a Nazi symbol. You can see from the picture that is not a Nazi symbol," Mr Mason told Portsmouth News.

"I baked some cakes, yes, but I haven't done a Nazi symbol on any of them. And there's no Nazi symbols there."

The group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, which aims to expose and counter anti-Semitism, said it welcomed Mr Mason's suspension pending an inquiry.

Image source, Portsmouth Conservatives
Image caption,
Former lord mayor Lee Mason has been suspended "pending the outcome of an investigation"

A spokesman said: "Next week the Jewish community will be observing Yom HaShoah, remembering the six million Jewish men, women and children slaughtered during the Holocaust just for being Jewish.

"Whether the emblazoning of a swastika on a hot cross bun was meant as a celebration of the abominable Nazi regime or a joke, the Jewish community and local residents in Portsmouth expect better from their representatives."

Supporters of the councillor have suggested the symbol was the original Hindu symbol before it was changed and adopted by the Nazi party.

A Portsmouth North Conservative Association spokeswoman said: "Cllr Lee Mason has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation."

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