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ELECTION

Vox drops homophobic Holocaust denier from electoral list after public outcry

Fernando Paz announced his decision to step down as a candidate for far right political party Vox in the next election after outrage over his views on homosexuality and his repeated denial of the Holocaust.

Vox drops homophobic Holocaust denier from electoral list after public outcry
Santiago Abascal (3L), leader of Spain's far-right party poses with party members after the party won 12 seats in Andalusia last December. Photo: AFP

He was dropped as the head of the electorate list for the province of Albacete on Thursday evening after a media storm highlighted his controversial views.

READ MORE: Spain's Vox picks homophobic Holocaust denier as electoral candidate

Announcing his “irrevocable resignation” on Twitter he said it came “following the media hunt, inspired by the left and supported by other media, all of them worried about the unstoppable boom of VOX.”

He thanked his supporters and the leadership of the party and said that he had received many positive comments.

“The manipulators do not reach everywhere. I only want to serve Spain where I can be most useful and won’t allow, at such a decisive time, to waste it on defending my person.”

In a tweet from the official VOX account, the party thanked Paz for his efforts.

“We appreciate the high-mindedness and patriotic gesture of Fernando Paz to renounce his candidacy not to harm this project.

And at the same time we condemn the political and media lynching that has suffered.”

Paz, who claims to be an historian, accused the media of manipulating views he had publicly expressed in the past about the Holocaust.

He has also come under criticism for his homophobic stance.

As recently as Wednesday during a television interview on Espejo Publico he said: “a gay couple with a child or a single mother who adopts a child is not a natural family.”

He has previously admitted that: “If I had a gay son what I would do is help him, there are therapies to redirect his psychology,” he said.

READ MORE: Far-right Vox party wants to loosen Spain's gun laws

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HEALTH

Spain ‘suspends lower house of parliament’ after far-right MP tests positive for coronavirus

Spain's lower house of parliament was reportedly suspended on Tuesday after an MP from the far-right Vox party tested positive for the coronavirus.

Spain 'suspends lower house of parliament' after far-right MP tests positive for coronavirus
Ortega Smith (L) with party leader Santiago Abascal in Madrid on election night. Photo: AFP

Javier Ortega Smith, the secretary general of the far right party Vox is among those who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Spain two days after he attended a crowded rally in Madrid, the party confirmed on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Ortega attended Vox’s annual rally with thousands of supporters held in Vistalegre where he greeted dozens of party supporters with hugs and kisses, according to footage distributed by the party.

In a statement tweeted by Vox leader Santiago Abascal, the party apologised for holding the event, a move which it admitted now was “a mistake”.

“We understood that it would have been irresponsible to generate panic by suspending a public event while the rest of the country continued to operate as normal,” read the statement.

“That was a mistake for which we apologize,” it continued before laying the blame at the door of the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez for not calling off public demonstrations held across Spain for International Woman’s Day on March 8th.

 “We trusted that this government would at least put the health of Spaniards ahead of its propaganda agenda,” the statement continued.

Ortega is the first of Spain’s lawmakers to be diagnosed with the virus which has so far struck more than 1.200 people and caused at least 30 deaths.

Vox said that they would now insist that all its 52 MPs would be working from home.

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