Lib Dems candidate suspended over “anti-semitic” remarks

Thursday 21st November 2019 08:38 EST

A Liberal Democrats candidate has been suspended now for making anti-semitic comments on social media. On Wednesday, 20th November, Waheed Rafiq, a candidate from the Birmingham Hodge Hill constituency, was suspended from the Party. This followed after reports re-emerged of his post on Facebook in 2010. In that post he had said that it was "shocking to see how the Jewish government call themselves Jews when they are wiping out all the people of Gaza".

In 2014 he apparently urged people to boycott WhatsApp saying it was "Zionist backed".
"Never forget WhatsApp is Zionist backed so all we do and say is monitored and can leave us vulnerable to be exploited later," he wrote, according to Buzzfeed News.

A spokesperson for the party said Rafiq was no longer a candidate. She said,

"The public posts on his Facebook and Twitter account from 2010 to 2014 are clearly and unambiguously anti-Semitic 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 was quoted as saying by BirminghamLive,

"The only response to the disgusting anti-Semitism 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."

Rafiq's suspension came as Lib Dems published their election manifesto. They have pledged to stop Brexit, legalise cannabis and invest a £50 billion "Remain Bonus" in public services.

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