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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Israel demands Clegg takes "forceful & immediate" action against Lib Dem MP David Ward

On Sunday during the Paris unity march, in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present. The Lib Dem MP for Bradford East David Ward tweeted that Mr Netanyahu's presence in Paris "makes me feel sick". He also tweeted "Je suis Palestinian". 

In response to this, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, has written to the Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg demanding that the Lib Dem leader takes "forceful and immediate" action against the MP following  his "shocking" remarks. As Mr Clegg has no power to sack Mr Ward as a Member of Parliament, he can however remove the Lib Dem whip from David Ward to make him an Independent MP.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: "David Ward does not speak for the Liberal Democrats on this issue. He has well known and strongly held views on this issue but this tweet was clearly in bad taste." The spokesman said: the party's sympathies were with the loved ones of people caught up in the attacks, and urged people to "come together in solidarity and in defence of the freedoms that we hold dear".

It is not the first time Mr Ward has faced criticism over remarks posted on Twitter. He was suspended from the Lib Dem parliamentary party in July 2013 and had the whip withdrawn for three months, over the summer recess, regarding comments he made about Israel. And in July last year he gave a "categorical apology" after tweeting: "The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes". He later apologised for his comments and said he did not support the firing of rockets into Israel, and apologised if he had given that impression.

The Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub's letter to Nick Clegg is below: