Leeds & West Yorkshire

Lib-Dem David Ward MP censured over Israel criticism

David Ward
Image caption Mr Ward He had made his comments ahead of last Sunday's Holocaust Memorial Day.

A Lib-Dem MP who accused "the Jews" in Israel of "inflicting atrocities on Palestinians" has received a letter of censure by the party.

Bradford East MP David Ward later apologised and said he had been "trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust".

He had made his comments ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, on Sunday.

The letter was the "equivalent of a yellow card", a party spokesman said.

Mr Ward received the written warning at a meeting with party whips, after the party "condemned" his "use of language, on Friday.

In a blog posting on Saturday he apologised, saying: "I never for a moment intended to criticise or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or as a people of faith, and apologise sincerely for the unintended offence which my words caused.

A formal complaint about the comments from the Holocaust Educational Trust was sent to the Liberal Democrats.

Last week, Mr Ward said he was "saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza".

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