Police arrest suspended Lib Dems councillor in probe into deranged antisemitic tweets

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Police arrest suspended Lib Dems councillor in probe into deranged antisemitic tweets

Pat Marsh, a long-serving Lib Dem councillor and former borough mayor in Harrogate, was arrested and taken into custody on Tuesday, North Yorkshire Police said

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Pat Marsh, suspended as a Lib Dem councillor
Pat Marsh, suspended as a Lib Dem councillor

Police have arrested a suspended Liberal Democrat councillor over an investigation into antisemitic messages.

Pat Marsh, a former borough mayor in Harrogate, was arrested and taken into custody on Tuesday, North Yorkshire Police said.

In a statement politics said: “A woman has been arrested in connection with an investigation into antisemitic ‘tweets’ shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. She remains in custody while enquiries continue.”

The Liberal Democrats suspended Cllr Marsh, who was the party’s leader in Harrogate and Knaresborough, on Monday after Jewish News reported on social media messages.

The posts which were shared on X are believed to have been shared between Wednesday 24 January and Sunday 18 February.

Cllr Pat Marsh has made multiple comments about ‘Jews’

In. a statement police said thy are investigating the incidents of hate crime and were appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Nicola Colbourne, of Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “North Yorkshire Police takes hate crime extremely seriously and we are committed to identifying those responsible.

“We are following all available lines of enquiry and would ask anyone who has any information that could support our investigation, other than seeing the tweets, to please come forward.”

The messages appeared to be posted in response to Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the Lib Dems told Jewish News on Monday: “These appalling antisemitic views have no place in our party, Ms Marsh has been removed from the council group and has been reported to the council’s Standard Officer.”

Cllr Marsh, who was the leader of the Lib Dems in Harrogate and Knaresborough, said she intended to continue to serve as an Independent councillor after her suspension.

She chairs the Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee, which advises North Yorkshire Council on local issues.

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