Labour candidate: ‘You can get away with offending anyone so long as they’re not Jewish’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Labour candidate: ‘You can get away with offending anyone so long as they’re not Jewish’

Conservative MP Mike Freer has called for the suspension of a candidate in this week's London Assembly elections after his retweet

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

A Conservative MP has called for the suspension of a candidate in this week’s London Assembly elections after he retweeted a message suggesting you can get away with offending anyone “so long as they’re not Jewish”. 

Labour’s Murad Qureshi, who has already served 12 years on the Assembly, apologised after he retweeted the post from journalist Mira Bar-Hillel, a prominent critic of Israel on social media, during the height of the scandal surrounding Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone.  

It claimed Katie Hopkins “is proof positive you can get away with deeply offending anyone in this country as long as they’re not Jewish.” Qureshi also ‘liked’ the post but deleted it. He is number four on Labour’s list for Thursday’s poll and therefore has a strong chance of being elected.

Following calls by Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, for him to be suspended, Qureshi said: “I apologise for any offence caused by this retweet. The views it contained were wrong and do not reflect my own and I quickly deleted the retweet as I recognised it was inappropriate.”

Mike Freer MP
Mike Freer MP

Mike Freer said: “It is disgraceful, although sadly unsurprising, that just a day after the Labour Party quite rightly acted to suspend Ken Livingstone from their party for repeated anti-semitic statements, one of Labour’s London Assembly candidates should endorse such disgraceful views. “Londoners will have the chance to reject Murad’s divisive and unacceptable comments next Thursday at the polls, but the Labour Party should act now and suspend his candidacy. Only by doing so will they prove that they are serious about rooting out and stamping out anti-semitism.”

The double suspension of Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone brought the total number of Labour figures suspended to around 10 during an unfolding scandal spanning six weeks. Jeremy Corbyn revealed to the Jewish News he was setting up an inquiry and proposing a new code of conduct, amid mounting pressure to do more to crack down.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: