LibDem MP re­ported to po­lice over Gaza

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JC RE­PORTER

A LIB­ERAL Demo­crat MP has been re­ported to the po­lice after sug­gest­ing that he would prob­a­bly fire rock­ets at Is­rael if he was liv­ing in Gaza.

On Tues­day evening David Ward tweeted: “The big ques­tion is — if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? — prob­a­bly yes.” He sent an­other tweet two hours later which said: “Ich bin ein #pales­tinian — the West must make up its mind — which side is it on”.

Shortly after the tweet was pub­lished, a LibDem spokesman said party leader Nick Clegg “ut­terly con­demned” the com­ments. But Mr Clegg has since re­fused to make any di­rect com­ment him­self and the party has ac­cepted the MP’s apol­ogy, is­sued after he had spo­ken to LibDem of­fi­cials.

In his apol­ogy, Mr Ward said: “I con­demn the ac­tions of Ha­mas and my com­ments were not in sup­port of fir­ing rock­ets into Is­rael. If they gave the op­po­site im­pres­sion, I apol­o­gise.”

A spokesper­son for the LibDems said Mr Ward’s state­ment was a “cat­e­gor­i­cal apol­ogy. In light of this apol­ogy, the party and the whips will de­cide in due course if fur­ther dis­ci­plinary ac­tion should be taken.”

Con­ser­va­tive MP Nad­him Za­hawi has re­ported the com­ments to the po­lice and asked them to in­ves­ti­gate whether the tweets rep­re­sent an of­fence as “en­cour­age­ment of ter­ror­ism”.

Is­raeli am­bas­sador Daniel Taub said: “Mr Ward has, in the past, made hurt­ful and shock­ing state­ments re­gard­ing Is­rael and the Holo­caust, but there surely has been none so ab­hor­rent and dam­ag­ing as his lat­est state­ment jus­ti­fy­ing these at­tacks.”

Fol­low­ing Mr Ward’s re­marks, for­mer LibDem MEP Ed­ward McMil­lanS­cott then tweeted: “David Ward can look after him­self. The @Board­ofDeputies is a fright­ful bag of dis­pu­ta­tious Jews and the edi­tor of the @JewishChron is a prat.”

The Board had made no com­ment on Mr Ward’s re­marks at the time of Mr McMil­lan-Scott’s in­ter­ven­tion.

Mr McMil­lan-Scott later tweeted: “I apol to @Board­ofDeputies al­tho they didn’t when I was smeared by @stephen­pol­lard in 2009 at be­hest of #Coul­son. D Tel did tho. I’m not a/S. ”

The Board said his apol­ogy was “wholly in­ad­e­quate”.

Stephen Pol­lard, edi­tor of the JC, said: “Mr McMil­lan-Scott’s tweet is truly bizarre. I have never had any form of con­tact with Andy Coul

son.”

PHOTO: STEVEWINSTONPHOTOS.COM

David Ward

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