Controversial former Lib Dem MP David Ward selected to stand in election

He has accused Jews of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians”


A former Liberal Democrat MP who accused Jews of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians” has reportedly been selected to run in the general election.

David Ward will stand in Bradford East, where he lost his seat at the last election.

Mr Ward was condemned by politicians, Jewish groups and Shoah survivors in 2013 after using his blog to equate Jewish suffering in the Holocaust with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: "It is deeply disappointing to us and very embarrassing for the Liberal Democrats that David Ward has once again been selected."

Karen Pollock, Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive, said: “This is unbelievable. It is beyond parody that someone who has repeatedly expressed antisemitic and deliberately incendiary views would be selected to be a Parliamentary representative by a mainstream political party.

"This is pretty shocking and hugely disappointing.”

Tim Farron, Lib Dem leader, last year told the JC  he wanted his party to be a “warm home” for Jews who were alienated by Labour’s antisemitism crisis.

He said he was “very sincere” about the pledge, and said the Lib Dems had learned their lesson from Mr Ward’s case.

"To equate the actions of the Israeli government to the Jewish community and to demonise the community is utterly unacceptable," Mr Farron said.

After signing a Holocaust Educational Trust book of remembrance, Mr Ward had blogged that he was “saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians”.

He subsequently apologised for the “unintended offence” but caused controversy by asking whether he could make the same remarks again using the term “Jewish community” instead of “the Jews”.

In May last year Mr Ward, who was elected as a Lib Dem councillor in the west Yorkshire city, had to be reminded of his party’s stance against antisemitism after he backed a Labour MP’s Jew-hate comments.

Following his in the local elections win he tweeted: “Credit to #NazShah for raising important issue of #US support for rogue State of #Israel”.

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Mr Ward tweeted: "#HolocaustMemorialDay theme 'Don't stand by' we must speak out for all - including #Palestinians - who face persecution and discrimination."

On the day of the Westminster terror attack in March, the former MP wrote on the social media site that "all terrorist attacks un UK stem from our foreign policy".

See all our Election 2017 coverage here

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