Posted on May 9, 2017

    A Candidate Who Was Banned By The Lib Dems For Anti-Semitism Is Now Standing Against Them

    Former MP David Ward says he wants to make a point "about Israel and supporters of Israel deciding who should be candidates in British elections".

    PA

    Former MP David Ward is standing in the general election as an independent after being banned from standing as a Liberal Democrat by party leader Tim Farron.

    Speaking to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, Ward said that he had "local support" and wanted to make a point "about Israel and supporters of Israel deciding who should be candidates in British elections", which he said was unacceptable.

    The MP, who held the Bradford East seat from 2010 to 2015, initially wanted to stand as a Lib Dem but was banned from doing so by Farron, who called some of his past comments "deeply offensive, wrong and anti-Semitic".

    Ward had the party whip withdrawn for three months in 2013 after writing on his blog that that he was "saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the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”.

    In a statement last month, Farron said: "I believe in a politics that is open, tolerant and united. David Ward is unfit to represent the party and I have sacked him."

    Ward said on Tuesday: "It’s all very unfortunate, I’ve served the community one way or another, as a councillor and an MP, for over 30 years and I think people know me.

    "I think I’ve got a story to tell – it’s not about party politics, but it’s about who can decide who should be candidates in parliamentary elections, and at the end of the day this is very much about Israel and supporters of Israel deciding who should be candidates in British elections and I think that’s unacceptable for democracy."

    "I need to make my decision by Thursday and I’ve got some local support, I’ve got lots of people saying that I should stand, but at the end of the day, I would probably do it anyway because I just feel it’s a point of principle and a matter of free speech."

    It was announced on Friday that he would be fighting for the seat on June 8.

    Marie Le Conte is a politics and media reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Marie Le Conte at marie.leconte@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here

    News moves fast. Keep up with the BuzzFeed News daily email!

    Newsletter signup form