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Senior Lib Dem meets communal leaders over Ward

    Liberal Democrat chief whip Don Foster
    Liberal Democrat chief whip Don Foster

    Liberal Democrat chief whip Don Foster has met Jewish communal leaders to discuss the party’s controversial MP David Ward.

    Representatives of the Board of Deputies, Community Security Trust and Jewish Leadership Council attended the session in Westminster on Wednesday last week.

    Mr Foster is understood to have lavished praise on CST’s work to combat antisemitism.

    In a joint statement, the Jewish groups said the session had discussed Mr Ward in an “open and constructive” fashion, but they refused to provide any further details of the session.

    But the JC understands Mr Foster’s approach to the issues left participants “satisfied” and “impressed”.

    Representatives from the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel and All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism are believed to have turned down the opportunity to attend the meeting.

    The Bradford East MP has been under fire since January when, ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, he accused “the Jews” of afflicting “atrocities on the Palestinians”. He was briefly stripped of the party whip over the summer for questioning Israel’s right to exist.

    The Board denied accusations last month that it had scuppered efforts to secure disciplinary action against Mr Ward following his most recent comments.

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