As the Dec. 12 elections in the United Kingdom approach, a Conservative Party candidate has been suspended over social-media posts he made several years ago about the Holocaust, in addition to denigrating other sectors of society.

The Scottish Tories withdrew their backing of Aberdeen North candidate Ryan Houghton, a local councillor, as the remarks were being probed.

“The comments contained in these blogs are unacceptable, and Mr. Houghton has been suspended as a member of the Scottish Conservative Party as a result,” said a spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives. “The party has also withdrawn its support for his candidacy in Aberdeen North. The Scottish Conservatives deplore all forms of Islamophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism.”

In a statement, Houghton explained that he made a thread about freedom of speech and comments made by Holocaust-denier David Irving. He noted that “after watching one of his lectures online, I had referenced his view that part of the Holocaust had been fabricated or exaggerated.”

“At the age of 20 on an online forum, I took part in a range of political discussions,” said Houghton. “These included terrorism, LGBT rights and anti-Semitism.”

“I apologize unreservedly for any hurt now caused by these comments and have been in contact with members of the Jewish community in Aberdeen,” he added.

The initial comments were first reported by The National.

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