Tory councillor suspended over ‘abhorrent and antisemitic’ posts is back in party

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Tory councillor suspended over ‘abhorrent and antisemitic’ posts is back in party

Peterborough Conservatives confirm Ishfaq Hussain is back in the fold following an investigation into his social media comments

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

A Conservative councillor who was suspended last year over social media posts branded “abhorrent and antisemitic” by the Jewish Leadership Council has been allowed to rejoin the party.

A Peterborough Conservatives spokesperson confirmed that Ishfaq Hussain was a party member again following an investigation into his posts.

Hussain, a councillor in the city’s Dogsthorpe ward, was suspended in April 2020 after it was revealed he had posted on Facebook claims including Jewish people living in Israel are not “true Jews” and that Israel is part of a “Zionist trilogy” alongside America and Saudi Arabia which “breed terrorists”.

Hussain had also previously turned his profile picture into an image with the caption: “This person does not recognise the State of Israel,” while claiming that “Zionism is one of the worst afflictions on the world” and that “the Zionists with the help of the UK and America have already occupied 85 per cent of Palestine.”

In the past Hussain has also called for Jerusalem to be made capital of Palestine to “stop more bloodshed, genocide by the Zionists..”

Records show that the councillor was made a director at the Thomas Deacon Education Trust charitable organisation last September.

The organisation is dedicated to raising educational outcomes across a range of primary and secondary phase schools and academies in the East Midlands.

After Hussain’s posts were revealed last year, the Jewish Leadership Council issued a statement in which they branded Hussain’s actions “abhorrent and antisemitic.”

When approached by his local newspaper about his Facebook posts Hussain said:”I deeply regret that my frustration at events in Israel and Palestine led me to suggest otherwise.

“At times in the past I reacted irresponsibly on social media. My comments at those moments do not reflect my settled view.”
Asked to comment on Hussain’s return to the Tory Party, a Peterborough Conservatives spokesperson said:” I can confirm the Councillor Ishfaq Hussain is a Conservative Party member.”

Jewish News has approached the Thomas Deacon Trust for comment.

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