Liberal Democrat suspended over ‘clearly and unambiguously antisemitic’ comments

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Liberal Democrat suspended over ‘clearly and unambiguously antisemitic’ comments

Waheed Rafiq was standing as the Lib Dem candidate in the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency

A polling station
A polling station

A Lib Dem candidate who made “clearly and unambiguously antisemitic” comments on social media has been suspended from the party.

Waheed Rafiq was standing as the Lib Dem candidate in the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency.

But a Lib Dem spokeswoman said he had been suspended from the party on Wednesday afternoon, describing the online posts as “clearly and unambiguously anti-Semitic”.

The timing is potentially awkward for the Lib Dems, coming on the same day as the party’s manifesto launch.

A Liberal Democrat spokeswoman said: “At 3pm Waheed Rafiq Hodge Hill PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate) was suspended from the party.

“The public posts on his Facebook and Twitter account from 2010 to 2014 are clearly and unambiguously antisemitic and bring the party into disrepute and are also of material disagreement with the fundamental values and objectives of the party.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said: “The only response to the disgusting antisemitism exhibited by Waheed Rafiq, by the Liberal Democrat candidate for Birmingham Hodge Hill, is to immediately drop him as a candidate for the constituency.

“We call on the Liberal Democrats to act now and ensure he is expelled after he is dropped as a candidate.”

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